Banknotes & Counterfeit Deterrence

Every country has legal restrictions on the reproduction of banknote images. The counterfeiting of currency is a crime, and while restrictions vary from country to country, in some countries, any reproduction of banknote images – even for artistic or advertising uses – is strictly forbidden. Even in countries that allow some limited use of banknote images, there are specific rules and requirements. This website will provide you with information about reproducing banknote images and links to country-specific websites for further guidance.


While the overall economic losses to society from counterfeiting of currency are generally limited, the victims who suffer the most harm are individuals and businesses, because no one reimburses those who accept counterfeit notes. Counterfeit currency can also undermine confidence in the payment system, making the public uncertain about accepting cash for transactions.

The Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) is responsible for this website. A counterfeit deterrence system (CDS) has been developed by the CBCDG to deter the use of personal computers, digital imaging equipment, and software in the counterfeiting of banknotes. The CDS has been voluntarily adopted by hardware and software manufacturers, and prevents personal computers and digital imaging tools from capturing or reproducing the image of a protected banknote. The technology does not have the capacity to track the use of a personal computer or digital imaging tools.

For information specific to a particular country or the banknote image you want to use, click on the appropriate region on the map or select the relevant country or currency from the list.

1.

Regions:

Select a region from the list or click on the map below
 

Currency:

Countries:

Languages:

GBP – pound sterling United Kingdom English

Official bank or department:

Contact information:

Links:

Bank of England

Reproductions Officer
Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

E-mail: banknote.reproductions@
bankofengland.co.uk

Bank of England guidelines

Bank of England Banknote Image Library

General information about the reproduction of banknotes:

Under section 18(1) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 it is a criminal offence for any person, without the prior consent in writing of the Bank of England, to reproduce on any substance whatsoever, and whether or not on the correct scale, any Bank of England banknote or any part of a Bank of England banknote. The Bank of England also owns the copyright in its banknotes.

Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.

Procedure

Those wishing to use images of Bank of England banknotes have three options:

  1. Banknote Image Library: Approved images are located in our banknote image library; users must adhere to our reproduction terms and conditions when handling images, failure to comply with conditions may result in legal action.
  2. Bank of England Banknote Image Library

  3. Banknote Reproductions Application: If using any other images of Bank of England banknotes, individuals must apply for consent on-line by completing and submitting the Banknote reproductions application form, which explains our reproduction terms and conditions.
  4. Banknote reproductions application form

  5. Postal applications can also be made by printing and completing the downloadable application form and mailing it to the correspondence address given below. The Note Reproductions Officer will endeavour to respond within 5 working days of receipt of an application.
  6. Downloadable application form

Correspondence about the reproduction of banknotes should be addressed to:

Bank of England

Banknote Reproductions Officer

Notes Directorate

Threadneedle Street London EC2R 8AH

The Note Reproductions Officer of the Bank of England can be contacted at: banknote.reproductions@bankofengland.co.uk or on +44 (0)20 7601 4028.

Reproduction in Printed media:

For Physical Reproductions, permission to reproduce banknote images will usually be given if the following criteria are met:

  1. Reproductions must be one sided only.
  2. Reproductions must not be the same size as actual banknotes; they must be at least 25% smaller or at least 25% larger. Reproductions of parts of banknotes must meet the same conditions.
  3. Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.
  4. There should be no distortion to the Queen's image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).
  5. At least one of the following conditions must also be met:

  1. Reproductions must be printed on a material clearly different and distinguishable from materials used to print current series Bank of England banknotes.
  2. Reproductions showing more than 50% of the total surface area of one side must be overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN" unless on a slant of over 20 ̊. SPECIMEN markings must be in bold grey font, at a 45 ̊ slant through the centre of the banknote, not less than 1/3 the length and 1/10 the height of the note.
  3. Reproductions showing less than 50% of the total surface area of one side do not need to be slanted or overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN".

Reproduction in electronic media:

For Digital/Other Reproductions, permission to reproduce banknote images will usually be given if the following criteria are met:

  1. Reproductions may not appear in an offensive or inappropriate context or in such a manner that the Bank, in its sole opinion, believes would undermine the integrity of the currency.
  2. There should be no distortion to the Queen's image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).

    At least one of the following conditions must also be met:

  1. Reproductions showing more than 50% of the total surface area of one side must be overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN" unless on a slant of over 20 ̊. SPECIMEN markings must be in bold grey font, at a 45 ̊ slant through the centre of the banknote, not less than 1/3 the length and 1/10 the height of the note.
  2. Reproductions showing less than 50% of the total surface area of one side do not need to be slanted or overprinted with the word "SPECIMEN".