Did You Know?
- How to Cope With Scottish Money

Bank of Scotland Five Pound Note

Visitors to Scotland are sometimes perplexed not just by a new currency but by the many banknotes in circulation - issued not just by the Bank of England but also by three Scottish banks. Here's how to deal with the situation.

  1. Cash obtained abroad from a bank or travel agent will always be Bank of England notes - these are perfectly acceptable in Scotland.
  2. Coins in circulation in Scotland are all issued by the Royal Mint - there are no Scottish specific coins.
  3. There are 100 pennies in a pound and the abbreviation "p" is used eg 55p. There are 1p, 2p copper coins, 5p, 10p, 20p, and 50p silver coins.
  4. There is a bronze-coloured one pound coin - with different flip sides with symbols for each of the countries of the UK. There is also a bi-colour two pound coin with a silver centre and a gold-colour border.
  5. Bank of England circulate notes in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 pounds.
  6. Three Scottish commercial banks - Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank issue their own notes to their own designs.
  7. 95% of the notes in circulation in Scotland are from these three banks. They are of equal value to Bank of England notes (but see 8 and 9 below).
  8. Scottish banks issue 5,10 and 20 pound notes. They also issue large denomination 50 and 100 pound notes but tourists are best to avoid these. There are also a few Royal Bank of Scotland one pound notes still in use.
  9. Exchange all your Scottish notes for Bank of England notes (or your home currency) before you leave Scotland. You may have difficulty in exchanging Scottish notes in parts of England or abroad.
  10. If you exchange Scottish notes abroad, you will probably get a poorer exchange rate than for Bank of England notes.
  11. Credit cards and cash cards can be used in UK auto-tellers but check on reciprocal links before you leave home.
  12. There are no restrictions on the amount of money you can bring into the UK.
  13. See also Scottish Banknotes feature on this site for more illustrations of Scottish bank notes.

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