The law relating to reproducing our banknotes appears in Section 18(1) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
How to use an image of a banknote
If you would like to use an image of one of our banknotes, you must ensure you meet the banknote reproduction terms and conditions – these are different depending on whether you intend to produce a physical or digital reproduction:
Banknote reproduction conditions
These conditions apply:
- whether you are reproducing all or part of a banknote
- whether you are reproducing the front or the back of a banknote
- to reproductions of all banknotes issued by the Bank of England, whether they are current legal tender or not
- to all possible reproductions, including modified or distorted reproductions.
|Reproduction condition||Physical reproductions, eg. books, newspapers, banners. Conditions 1,2,3 and 4 must be met and at least one of 5a) - c)||Digital/other reproductions, eg. on screen only. Conditions 3 and 4 must be met and at least one of 5b) - c)|
|1||Reproductions must be one sided only.||Required||Not required|
|2||Reproductions must not be the same size as actual banknotes. They must be at least 25% smaller or at least 25% larger.||Required||Not required|
|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.||Required||Required|
|4||There should be no distortion to the Queen’s image (apart from an enlargement, reduction or slant).||Required||Required|
|5a)||Reproductions must be printed on a material clearly different and distinguishable from materials used to print current series Bank of England banknotes.||At least one of conditions 5 (a) to (c) must also be met||Not required|
|5b)|| 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 degrees.
SPECIMEN markings must be in bold grey font, at a 45-degree slant through the centre of the banknote, not less than one-third the length and one-tenth the height of the note.
|At least one of conditions 5 (a) to (c) must also be met||At least one of conditions 5 (b) to (c) must also be met|
|5c)||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’.||At least one of conditions 5 (a) to (c) must also be met||At least one of conditions 5 (a) to (c) must also be met|
Approved images of current banknotes are available from our banknote image library. If you want to use any other images of our banknotes, you must apply online for permission.
Apply for permission
Whether you are using an approved image or creating your own, you must comply with our banknote reproduction terms and conditions at all times. Failure to do so may result in legal action.
For more information, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)20 3461 4028.