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De La Rue extends deal to print UK bank notes in Essex until 2028

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·2-min read
The new polymer British ten and five pounds banknotes are pictured in London, on December 31, 2017. Currency experts have warned that as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues, the value of the British pound, which has remained depressed against the US dollar and the euro since the UK voted to leave in the EU referendum, is likely to fluctuate.  (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A contract to print UK banknotes has been extended. Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Bank of England has extended its deal with De La Rue (DLAR.L) to print UK banknotes until 2028.

The company, headquartered in Basingstoke, has secured the right to continue as the sole printer of Bank of England notes for another three years after its current contract expires in 2025.

It will continue to run the Bank’s printing hub in Debden, Essex, including printing the new polymer Alan Turing £50 note from next year.

The deal extension was announced on Friday by the banknote and passport maker in a statement to investors. No details on the finances of the agreement were released.

De La Rue has been working with the central bank since 2003.

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“We are very pleased to announce the extension of the contract today, which will enable us to continue to develop our Debden facility as a global centre of excellence for banknote printing," said Sarah John, the Bank of England’s chief cashier.

“During the course of the current contract, we have worked closely together to launch three new banknote designs on polymer. In 2021, the release of the new Alan Turing £50 note will complete our polymer set.”

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Clive Vacher, CEO of De La Rue, said: "We are delighted that our contract with the Bank of England has been extended to 2028, highlighting De La Rue's commitment to UK manufacturing.”

Vacher said the company’s growth strategy for currency design and printing included working with customers worldwide to shift towards “cleaner, more secure” polymer banknotes.

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“The facilities at Debden produce some of the most technically complex banknotes in the world and we work closely with the Bank of England to reduce the environmental impact of our operations.”

De La Rue is the largest commercial printer of passports in the world, and has designed around a third of the banknotes in circulation globally.

But has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years. It faced a probe from the UK’s Serious Fraud Office into “suspected corruption” linked to its work on South Sudan’s new currency. But the investigation concluded in June, with the SFO saying the case did not meet the test for prosecution.

Meanwhile the company also lost the contract to print UK passports last year, in a controversial decision by the UK government.

French-Dutch competitor Gemalto was picked for the 10-year, £490m ($633m) contract. The government later said that Gemalto would manufacture Britain’s post-Brexit blue passports.

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