CLYDESDALE Bank’s polymer £5 note, the first fully polymer banknote to enter circulation in Great Britain, is in the running for the international ‘Banknote of the Year’ award.

The Scottish fiver is the only UK banknote on this year’s shortlist from the International Bank Note Society, which brings together paper currency collectors and specialists and recognises an exceptional banknote issued each year.

Clydesdale’s note is competing for the award alongside banknotes from around the world, including Singapore, New Zealand and China.

“We are proud that our polymer £5 note has been nominated for the Banknote of the Year Award,” said David Duffy, Clydesdale Bank chief executive. “The note has proved popular with the public and businesses since its launch, thanks to its iconic graphics and durable design. We take our responsibility as an issuer of banknotes seriously and are excited to be leading the way in innovation.”

Polymer banknotes – made from synthetic plastic and resin-based materials – were first introduced in Australia in 1988 and have continued increasing in use because they offer additional security features to paper notes – including the use of special inks – and last much longer.

Clydesdale’s polymer £5, designed by Hampshire-based banknote manufacturer De La Rue, includes a security feature that appears as shiny ink in the shape of Scotland over a transparent window which changes colour as the note is moved and tilted. Two million of the £5 notes are currently in circulation.

Clydesdale Bank has been issuing banknotes since 1838 and is the largest issuer by volume of notes in Scotland. It introduces around £400m of new notes a year and in 2015 marked a special milestone when more than £2bn worth of its notes were in circulation on a single day.