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The Bank has issued paper banknotes ever since the central bank was created in 1694 as a way of raising money for King William III's war against France. The first fully printed notes appeared in 1853. Before that, notes were handwritten and signed by one of the bank's cashiers.
Polymer banknotes, as well as being hard to fake, are durable and stay cleaner for longer because the material is more resistant to dirt and moisture, the Bank said, adding feedback so far on the new-look notes had been positive.