Bank officials are believed to be concerned that the £5 note, which as a low denomination changes hands quickly, is not tough enough. Sterling notes are currently made mainly from cotton, but Australia paved the way with a polymer currency that better withstands everyday use.
A source close to the Bank said: "This is at the evaluation stage. A decision won't be made for the next year or two and production a little while after that, but a plastic £5 note is a possibility even though it won't provide as much security as other options."
A polymer note is considered easier to replicate than those with clear, plastic windows within a traditional cotton fabric. The Bank is considering the latter option for its other notes, favouring a trial with the £50.
A far less used note, the £50 does not require the durability features of a fiver, but is more costly to the economy if counterfeited on a large scale. "The Bank is looking at ways of putting a see-through, transparent window on notes as a primary security feature," said the source.An industry source added: "There are ongoing conversations about the future features of banknotes, particularly in order to combat counterfeiting, between the Bank and industry suppliers."Source: Independent