ATMs Dispensing 'More And Better' £5 Notes
More 'good quality' £5 notes are now available from UK cash point machines after the Bank of England successfully completed a drive to increase their circulation.
The central bank said nearly 10 times as many £5 notes are being dispensed from ATMs than in the summer of 2010, when it launched a drive increase boost their availability - equating to nearly £200m of the notes a month.
By March this year, more than 5,000 ATMs, or one in eight, were dispensing the notes, compared with 670 in 2009, the Bank said.
The campaign to encourage banks to load more 'fivers' into their cash point machines came after too few notes were reaching consumers, and those that did were often poor quality.
Retailers often stock up on £5 notes rather than banking them because they are useful for handing out in change to customers.
Banks, building societies and ATM operators were set a target to ensure that at least 1.2% of their ATM dispense by value was in £5 notes by 2012 - and this has reached 1.5%.
The quality threshold has also been raised to ensure that newer £5 notes, rather than old and shabby ones, are put back into circulation.
Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King said: "I am delighted that this initiative has been so successful.
"A key objective for the Bank is to maintain public confidence in the currency, by meeting demand with good quality genuine banknotes that the public can use with confidence."
The Bank said that meeting the target had been a "significant" undertaking for ATM operators, who had to make physical and technical changes to their machines.
In total, about £4bn of £5 notes are set to enter circulation this year from a range of sources including ATMs and bank branches, compared with just over £2bn two years ago.
Those who took part in the scheme include Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, the Co-operative Bank, Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Yorkshire Bank.
The Bank of Ireland also participated, through its ATMs at Post Office branches, as well as Sainsbury's Bank and HSBC.
:: The nearest £5-dispensing ATMs to any postcode can be located online using LINK's ATM locator. Click 'Advanced Search' and select 'Dispenses £5 notes'.