Shop owners have complained about huge numbers of ‘fake’ fivers
The response has raised fears that the supposedly tougher, new £5 notes, which were only launched a little over three years ago, are not as hardy as they should be.
The Bank of England has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement trying to reassure Stoke residents and traders.
It said that the hundreds of “phoney” notes are actually genuine money which has suffered “wear and tear”.
The bank added that its experts have examined the notes and found they are damaged rather than fraudulent.
It said that the issue may have been caused by cash going through the washing machine on a high temperature.
A Bank of England spokesman said: “Polymer notes are stronger than paper notes and last longer in usual day-to-day use but they are not indestructible.
“In some cases this has resulted in the foil Elizabeth Tower being removed.
“These notes are damaged genuine banknotes, not counterfeits, and a lot of other security features remain intact such as the Queen’s portrait in the window and the micro-lettering.
“Our advice would be to check on the website and familiarise yourself with how to check those security features.”
The new-style polymer £5 notes were issued in September 2016 and were designed to last twice as long as paper notes and to be harder to counterfeit.
The ‘plastic’ £10 note was released in 2017 and the £20 note is set to be released next month.
Source: The Sun