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Scottish banknotes are weird. Although they are used all over Scotland and the rest of the UK, they are not legal tender, which means a shopkeeper can refuse to accept them and you can do nothing about it.

Three Scottish banks are authorized to print bank notes in Scotland, yet none of them are central banks. This power to print banknotes was vested upon the private banks by the Bank Notes (Scotland) Act 1845, under the condition that the issuing banks deposit an equivalent sum in pound sterling or gold with the Bank of England. This backing by the Bank of England is intended to maintain public confidence in the value the notes represent. The idea is that if one of the Scottish banks close, and all banknotes issued by the bank become worthless, the notes from the defunct bank could be replaced with regular Bank of England issued cash.

scottish banknotes

A collection of different 10 Pounds Sterling banknotes issued by Scottish Banks. Image credit: Henning Marquardt/Shutterstock.com


© Amusing Planet, 2019.


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