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Five pound notes on the increase

Almost 10 times as many £5 notes are being dispensed from cash machines than in the summer of 2010, the Bank of England has said.

Approximately £200m of five pound notes are now dispensed a month, following a campaign to urge more banks to load the notes into ATMs.

The Bank argued that there was a "strong business case" for banks to load ATMs with £5 notes.

It also said that such a move would be popular with consumers, as many found that these notes were rarely in circulation for long.

The Bank set an aim to raise the proportion of £5 notes dispensed from ATMs from 0.2% of the total value of ATM outflows in mid-2010, to 1.2%.

The latest figures show that this proportion has risen to 1.5%, after changes by ATM operators - including physical and software changes to the cash machines.

By last month, over 5,000 ATMs were dispensing £5 notes, with a wide geographical spread, compared with just 670 in 2009.

"I am delighted that this initiative has been so successful. A key objective for the Bank is to maintain public confidence in the currency, by meeting demand with good-quality genuine banknotes that the public can use with confidence," said Bank of England governor, Sir Mervyn King.

The Bank also aimed to increase the overall quality of fivers in circulation, following feedback from consumers that many were torn and shabby.

In 2012, a total of £4bn in fivers is expected to enter circulation, compared with just over £2bn in fivers in 2010 - through ATMs, bank branches and other sources.

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