British Monetary Officials Announce Changes

The Bank of England is announcing it will begin circulating plastic money in 2016 — polymer versions of the paper bank notes Britons have used for more than three centuries. Bank officials say the currency should last longer and be harder to counterfeit.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And changes may be brewing when it comes to another old tradition in Europe: the British pound. Our Last Word In Business Is: new currency.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Bank of England will begin circulating plastic money in 2016, polymer versions of the paper bank notes Britons have used for more than three centuries.

GREENE: Bank officials say the currency should last longer and be harder to counterfeit.

WERTHEIMER: But while they might hold up better in a wash cycle, the plastic does start to melt at 120 degrees.

GREENE: I don't think Britain ever gets that hot, but I am guessing people will now have to double-check their pants pockets before loading up the dryer. That's the business news here on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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