Chris Salmon, the Bank of England’s chief cashier, holding the new £50 note

Today the Bank of England released the first new re-design of the £50 note in 17 years.  On the back are portraits of the 19th century industrialists Matthew Boulton and James Watt, the first time a dual portrait has ever been used on a Bank of England note. It also has several new security features including a “Motion Thread” which shows an image of the £ symbol and the number 50 switching up and down when the note is tilted.

The old design featuring Sir John Houblon, the first governor of the Bank of England, will remain legal tender for the next few months but will eventually be recalled.  Its not exactly clear when they’ll be recalled but the Bank of England will give at least 3 months notice before doing so.

Chief cashier Chris Salmon encouraged retailers to spend time getting familiar with the new notes and their security features in order to help combat fraud.  He warned though that  ‘unfortunately no matter how well we design our notes, whatever their quality, and however well educated the public are about authentication, there will be some level of counterfeiting,’

Bank Note Facts

  • The new £50 note has 8 security features compared to 5 for the previous design
  • There is currently £10.6bn worth of £50 notes in circulation

What do you think of the new design? Do you find £50 notes useful or a hindrance?
Make sure you know how to spot a fake note by taking the test provided by the Bank of England.