The Bank of England says the £5 was beginning to fall out of circulation because many people now consider the denomination to be “small change.” As a result, a bank source told UK’s The Daily Mail this week, the five pound notes end up “being stuffed into people’s back pockets, rather than returned to banks in the form of deposits” and therefore not a likely candidate for ATMs.
Last year, in conjunction with HSBC, the Bank of England launched a pilot project asking street lenders to stock more of the notes and are beefing up the project this summer with their focus on ATMs.
According to the Daily Mail, “In the early 1990s, just 25 per cent of cash was withdrawn using hole-in-the-wall machines, but their use has exploded and ATMs now dispense around 70 per cent of all cash in circulation. But as banks prefer to dispense larger denomination notes from their cashpoints, the fiver has suffered in comparison.”
This isn’t the first time England has sought more lower denomination bills to be introduced into circulation. As we wrote back in November, British business leaders urged the Bank of England to increase the number of £10 claiming that “those who frequently use cash dispensers who don’t want ‘to carry higher-value denominations, especially £20 notes, around in their purses and wallets.’”
These same business leaders said that “despite credit and debit cards, small-ticket items are [still their] lifeblood,” highlighting a continual need for banknotes not only in England, but the world over.
The Daily Mail: “£5 Notes To Be Available From Cash Machines”
The Daily Mail: “Give Us More Tenners, The Bank of England is Urged”
Global Paper Security: “British Business Leaders Demand More Ten Pound Banknotes”