Media Centre

4th October 2017
Introducing the New Ten Pound Note

Have you got your hands on the new Polymer £10 note yet? It was issued on 14 September; and the old version will be withdrawn from circulation in spring 2018.

The new note features novelist Jane Austin, marking the 200th anniversary of her death. Winchester Cathedral, where she is buried, also appears on the note. Austin is the third lady to feature on a post-decimalisation bank note, apart from Her Majesty The Queen.

The new £10 follows on from the launch of the Polymer £5 note on 13 September 2017; the old £5 notes were withdrawn from circulation on 5 May 2017. Only a year ago, and yet it seems like we have always had polymer notes in our wallets. 

The new polymer £20 note will be issued in 2020 and will feature the artist, J. M. W. Turner. Turner was selected through the new character selection process, the first time the Bank of England has used this method.

By switching to polymer from the cotton/paper blend, the Bank of England intends their currency to stay crisp and clean for longer, thus extending its lifespan. This, together with the rise of online banking, should mean that money production will be reduced. But how often does a £10 bank note change hands?

According to some analysis by Onward Financial, the £10 note, of which there are 723,000,000 in circulation, is the note you are most likely to hand over to top up your grocery weekly shop. It is estimated that the current note changes hands 594 times, and lasts approximately three years. The new £10 note is expected to last seven and a half years.

Knowing the lifespan of the note allows us to calculate the value of the purchases each note makes. The £10 note makes 198 exchanges per year, which is £1,980 worth of goods or services, or £5,940 in its lifetime. The New £10 is expected to increase that to £14,850.

Given the issuance is 723,000,000 notes, and the current population of the UK is 65,640,000, that is enough for 11 notes each. However, if you managed to collect and save all of the £10 notes in issuance you would have £7.23 billion to spend. Enough to buy Marks and Spencer (£5.5bn), Sainsbury’s (£5.3bn) or even Whitbread (£6.6bn).

The old £10 note with Charles Darwin on was issued on 7 November 2000. Had you saved one under the mattress then it would have had to grow by 2.11% per annum to keep pace with inflation, a 42.1% increase over the 202 months. Had you invested it in the S&P 500 for example, the return would have been 81.3%, or with dividends reinvested 149.37% (£24.94) or an annualised return of 5.56%, banking crisis or no banking crisis!