After discovering irregularities in the quality and production of banknote paper, security paper maker De La Rue has suspended production of banknotes at their printing plant in Overton, Hampshire for the time being.
Though no specific details have been provided, the company said last week that the paper used for making banknotes was not being printed on par with company standards.
“It is apparent that some paper production has failed to meet certain quality specifications,” a spokesperson said in an article written for the UK’s Sky News.
The company produces banknotes for 150 countries around the world but has not confirmed that any “inferior” banknotes have made their way into circulation.
The quality of paper can play a big role in ensuring the security of a banknote in order to prevent it from being counterfeited. Unlike writing paper, for example, banknote paper is produced from different types of pulp blends.
Thus, cotton based banknote paper has a unique feel different from other papers. This feel is considered to be a trigger, leading people to know whether or not the banknote is fake.
Banknote paper is also the first place producers go to include security features. Intaglio printing (raised printing) is embedded on the paper allowing consumers to instantly recognize whether a banknote is genuine by simply examining its tactile functions.
Details about how long the plant was producing inferior paper are not known. Other banknote producers around the world are not reporting any problems with the quality of their outputs.
In addition to banknotes, De La Rue also supplies security documents such as passports, authentication labels and fiscal stamps, but has not said there was a problem with these products.
Sky News: “Printing Error May Undermine Banknotes”
This Is Money: “Banknote Production Suspended Due To Paper Flaws”
Polymernotes.org: “Mould-made cotton bank note paper and plastic substrate alternatives”