Plastic banknote deal for De La Rue

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The Bank of England has named British banknote printer De La Rue as preferred bidder for its polymer and paper banknote printing contract.

The company, which has printed banknotes since 2003, is expected to sign an extended 10-year contract in October and to commence printing in April 2015, the BoE said.

De La Rue, which makes more than 150 national currencies and UK passports, added polymer banknotes to its business in 2012, but lost out in March on a 10-year contract to supply polymer to the BoE to a company called Innovia Security.

The company will begin printing the Bank of England’s £5 notes on polymer from the second half of 2016 and its £10 notes a year later.

It will continue to print £20 and £50 banknotes on paper.

Britain is one of the largest economies so far to adopt plastic banknotes, which the BoE has said would last twice as long as paper currency and save it around £1bn over the next 10 years.

De La Rue’s chairman said: “We are delighted that De La Rue has been selected as the preferred bidder for this very prestigious and important contract with the Bank of England.”

The contract will remove one of the last hurdles in De La Rue’s recovery.