Scot Helps Bank of England Keep Ahead of Forgers

Article excerpt

Byline: HUGO DUNCAN

HE is acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of modern economics.

Yet Adam Smith's face may not be so well known as his reputation as an 18th-century economist and philosopher.

However, the Scot will soon gain wider currency when he is featured on a new [pounds sterling]20 banknote unveiled yesterday. The new Bank of England note - the first to feature a Scot - will be issued next spring and will incorporate the latest anti-forgery measures.

It will gradually replace the existing [pounds sterling]20 note, which features composer Sir Edward Elgar.

The bank said the Adam Smith note will be the most secure it has ever produced - with a new holographic strip, improved watermark and additional ultraviolet features.

The [pounds sterling]20 note is the denomination which is most commonly targeted by fraudsters.

Last year the authorities recovered 505,000 counterfeit notes, including 487,000 [pounds sterling]20 notes.

Bank of England chief cashier Andrew Bailey, whose signature appears on the notes, said: 'The introduction of new banknote designs is our opportunity to incorporate advances in anticounterfeiting features.' Mr Bailey added that the other key elements in the bank's efforts to beat counterfeiting included its education programme, Take A Closer Look, which is designed to increase public awareness of banknote security features and maintain public trust in the notes. …