Wales won't get its own banknotes for now

A bid to change the law so that Welsh banknotes could once again be issued has been blocked by the UK Government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own banknotes and Labour and Plaid Cymru supported a measure would have opened the door to Welsh notes. The Consevatives however voted the proposal down.

In a comment by the UK Treasury Minister she mentioned some of the design elements of the new UK 5-pound note.

From WalesOnline: Shadow Welsh Secretary Nia Griffith said: "I'm deeply disappointed that the Conservatives voted against introducing Welsh banknotes. This proposal had widespread support amongst Welsh Labour MPs and the full support of Labour’s Treasury team.

"Welsh banknotes would be an important way of recognising the people who have shaped Wales as we know it today, and it is only fair when Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own banknotes.

"During today’s debate many of my colleagues made their own suggestions as to who could feature on Welsh banknotes - figures such as Aneurin Bevan and Dame Shirley Bassey - but ultimately this would be a decision for the people of Wales. Labour will continue pressing the Conservatives to reconsider their opposition to these proposals."

The amendment to the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill – to "enable Lloyds Banking Group, the holder of the Bank of Wales trademark, to issue banknotes in Wales" was defeated by 301 to 239. 

UK Treasury Minister Harriett Baldwin said that although she sympathised with the desire for Welsh banknotes the Government would not support the amendment.

She said: "The last private note issuer in Wales was the North and South Wales Bank which lost its note-issuing rights in 1908 when it was taken over by the Midland Bank which now has been rebranded as HSBC."

Ms Baldwin said the proposals would give a "clear commercial advantage in the country of Wales to just one bank, the Lloyds Banking Group."

She added: "I can confirm that the Bank of England has already announced that future banknotes, starting with the polymer £5 note which will be issued from September 2016 will include symbols which represent all four home nations. For Wales, the imagery will be taken from the Royal Coat of Arms and the Royal Badge of Wales."

Steven Tuesday 26 April 2016 at 11:57 am | | news
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