Northern Ireland

First Trust Bank to stop printing notes

First Trust Bank Image copyright PAcemaker

One of Northern Ireland's four main banks is to end its tradition of printing its own bank notes.

First Trust Bank said the move is "a commercial decision" and its existing notes will cease being legal currency in June 2022.

The bank's ATMs are to switch over to issuing Bank of England notes.

The move comes as other Northern Ireland banks prepare to changeover to modern polymer notes.

They have been printing their own money since the early 19th Century.

'Special arrangements'

There is about £2.5bn worth of Northern Ireland banknotes in circulation - 11% of them are currently issued by First Trust.

The bank said "the increasing use of digital payment methods and mobile technology" was a factor in its decision.

"First Trust Bank remains fully committed to Northern Ireland," said Adrian Moynihan, head of First Trust Bank.

"Any of our banknotes in circulation can be used as normal until 30th June 2022."

After than date, "special arrangements" will be in place to swap notes over for a further period of two years.

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