De La Rue named preferred bidder for BofE plastic banknote contract

De La Rue named preferred bidder for BofE plastic banknote contract

As it prepares to move to plastic banknotes, the Bank of England has named De La Rue as the preferred bidder for a 10-year printing contract.

Basingstoke-based De La Rue has been printing notes for the central bank since the job was first outsourced in 2003.

Although a contract has not been signed, the firm is expected to get confirmation in October and begin printing both paper and plastic notes under the new 10 year deal next April.

The UK's banknotes will start going plastic in 2016 with a fiver featuring the face of Winston Churchill. A polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen will follow in 2017.

Although De La Rue has been making polymer notes since 2012, it lost out on the deal to supply them to the BofE to Australia's Innovia Security. De La Rue will print the new notes at the BoE's facility in Debden on this substrate.

De La Rue has been printing banknotes since 1860 and works with dozens of central banks around the world. But in 2010 the company's reputation took a hit when its largest customer suspended production due to quality control issues.

The firm's CEO was forced to resign and the Serious Fraud Office was called in as it emerged that staff had "deliberately falsified" paper specification test certificates on banknotes.

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