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First RBS Scottish polymer £5 extends the #FiverGiver campaign

Howard Lake | 31 October 2016 | News

Royal Bank of Scotland polymer five pound note. Copyright: Royal Bank of Scotland
First polymer RBS five pound note. Image copyright: Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has produced its first £5 note on polymer, and Scottish fundraisers are already encouraging recipients to join in the #fivergiver campaign which followed the introduction of the Bank of England’s first £5 polymer note last month.

The RBS £5 note features illustrations of Scottish poet Nan Shepherd. It is part of a series of ‘Fabric of Nature’ themed notes which enter circulation in 2016 and 2017.

The reverse of the note features two mackerel, “the single most valuable stock for the Scottish fishing industry” according to RBS, as well as an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean.


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The #FiverGiver campaign was created by corporate fundraising consultant John Thompson, who blogs on UK Fundraising, and has inspired many people to donate the first new £5 to a charity of their choice. The viral campaign has lasted several weeks, and received national media coverage. The timing of the RBS £5 polymer note coming into circulation therefore is fortunate.

The new notes are 15% smaller and are meant to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current version.

Royal Bank of Scotland has been issuing banknotes since 1727.

Some supporters are now taking the #fivergiver to a new level:

[Tweet at https://twitter.com/steve_dorward/status/791999635724374016 no longer available]

And it looks like the #firstfiver idea of donating the first new polymer £5 you receive to charity could spread even further afield:

[Tweet at https://twitter.com/BarkingMadGC/status/792581101411643392 no longer available]

WATCH: The Royal Bank of Scotland Polymer £5 note