Central Banks

Bank of England to keep five pound note despite protests over beef fat ingredient

Bank of England governor Mark Carney poses with a new polymer five pound note on September 13, 2016 in London
Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The Bank of England said on Wednesday it plans to keep the new £5 note despite acknowledging that it contains an "extremely small amount of" beef fat.

Vegan-led protests last November prompted the U.K.'s central bank to launch a detailed investigation into whether there was a better substitute for the ingredient.

However, according to a statement from the Bank, it has now concluded "that it would be appropriate to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to issue the £10 polymer note as planned, in September."

A variety of issues in addition to animal rights concerns and including quality and security of the banknotes, the Bank's legal obligations, the needs of firms that process, handle and supply cash and taxpayer value for money were analyzed by the institution in reaching its decision.

Despite the decision, the Bank has confirmed that it is "continuing to work closely with banknote polymer suppliers to determine what alternatives might be available."

The Bank will also work with stakeholders such as The Vegan Society, which praised the approach taken by the institution over the matter.

"While it is unfortunate that the new £10 note will contain tallow, The Vegan Society is pleased that the Bank of England has been transparent in their response to this important issue, and has taken the beliefs of the public into consideration," noted a press release added to the organization's website on Wednesday afternoon.

"We have met with the Bank of England and believe they are committed to solving this problem and we will continue to work with them to find a good solution."

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