Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 16:22 UK

Cashpoint to issue only 5 notes

5 note
Banks find it economical to fill cash machines with high denomination notes

A cash machine which only issues 5 notes is being introduced in east London in a bid to put more of the notes into circulation.

The UK's first 5-only cash machine will be installed in Roman Road, Bethnal Green, next month.

Operator Bank Machine said: "No-one likes having to pay for a low-cost product with a 10 or even 20 note."

Last year Bank of England governor Mervyn King said banks were not putting enough 5 notes into circulation.

The total value of Bank of England notes in circulation doubled from 20bn in 1997 to 40bn last year.

But the value of 5 notes has remained constant for 15 years, at 1bn.

'Soiled and scruffy'

Banks find it more economical to fill cash machines with higher denomination notes, such as 10 and 20, as they need to be refilled less often, Mr King said.

Without fresh notes in circulation, the existing 5 notes have become "noticeably soiled and scruffy", he added.

The 5-only machine will be located near a busy Bethnal Green market, Bank Machine said, with a further 20 machines planned around the UK.

The firm said it would not charge users a fee to withdraw money from the 5-only machine.

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