Hindu Council UK’s response to the new £5 and £10 Bank Notes which contain animal tallow

The Hindu Council UK is deeply disappointed that even after meetings with the Bank of England and taking part and engaging the Hindu Community in the recent consultation by the Bank of England – the Bank of England still go ahead with launching the new £5 and £10 bank notes and shortly will be launching the new £20 note – all of which contain animal tallow.

“Hindu Council UK’s letter to the Bank of England”

Dear Chief Cashier,

RE: Th new £5 and £10 Bank Notes

Thank you for meeting with us recently, where we discussed the new £5 and £10 bank notes containing animal tallow and its impact on the religious sensitivities of sections of the Hindu community, in particular places of worship that are directly financially impacted. We were forced to concede on the fact that the £5 notes were already in circulation.

However, we strongly feel that for the new £10 note that due consideration is given on the adverse impact on faith communities (particularly Hindus – one million people in the UK, and the third largest Faith in the UK, where money is used in religious ceremonies and revered) and people who follow a vegetarian ethos. The financial impact alone upon Hindus and temples is astronomical, we are aware of many temples and some places of business that that have felt detriment.

We therefore request that the Bank of England do not put into circulation the new £10 or future denominations (that contain Animal Tallow or other animal by-product). We understand that there may have already been a cost incurred to the Bank of England regarding the new £10, likewise we suggest that the Bank of England also considers the costs incurred by some Hindu temples (and business) currently and the impact the £10 note will have.

We feel that the Bank of England may have overlooked the possible impacts of the £5 note initially and at the time were happy that the Bank of England informed us that you were looking into vegetarian alternatives. Nevertheless, it would be remiss of us not to point out that further consideration should be given for any future production of notes.

There is a moral case for not having animal by-product used in notes (whether alternatives can be available or not) as most vegans and vegetarians would want, there is a business case for not having animal by-product due to the impact on Hindu places of worship and business’s. There is the cost to tax payers in the further production and circulation of the new £10 note or potential recall implications. Finally, there is a legal case under section 149 of the Equality Act (2010), furthermore established in case law (attached) and the Brown Principles of ‘Due regard’.

The production of the £10 and future notes that contain animal by-product knowingly could also impact on the reputation of the Bank of England. As a way of showing our commitment and positive intention working with the Bank of England, we sincerely hope that you take on board our advice and give due regard to the possible implications.

Due Regard (Brown Principles)
Case law prior to the Equality Act 2010 has provided a set of principles which describe the legal expectation of due regard as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act. These principles, known as the Brown Principles (Brown, R v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2008] EWHC 3158 (Admin)) state that in order to meet the duty, public bodies must ensure:

Knowledge: those who exercise its functions (its staff and leadership) should be aware of the duty’s requirements. Meeting the duty involves ‘a conscious approach and state of mind’. Decision makers should therefore be aware of the implications of the duty when making decisions about their policies and practices.

“Those responsible for the duty to have due regard must consciously bring it to mind when considering the duty. If they don’t or if their appreciation of the duty is incomplete or mistaken, the courts will deem that due regard has not been applied”.
R (Brown) v DWP [2008]

Timeliness: due regard must be paid before and at the time that a particular decision is being considered, not later. Attempts to justify a decision as being consistent with the exercise of the duty when it was not, in fact, considered before the decision, are not sufficient to discharge the duty. The duty arises before and at the time that a particular policy is under consideration and a decision is taken. A public authority cannot satisfy the duty by justifying a decision after it has been taken.

An EIA is not a ‘rearguard action following a concluded decision’ but exists as an ‘essential preliminary’ to any such decision, inattention to which ‘is both unlawful and bad government’.
R (BAPIO) v SoS for Home Department & SoS for Health [2007]

Analysis must be rigorous: the duty must be exercised with rigour and with an open mind – it is not a question of just ticking boxes. There must be substantial sifting of relevant facts and research, and fair attention to conflicting views. There must be meaningful consultation and engagement with interested parties.

Mere recitation of a mantra will not by itself show a positive equality duty has been discharged, but the ‘substance and reasoning’ of the decision must be examined.
R (Baker) v Secretary of State Environment [2008]

Once Ealing BC had “identified a risk of adverse impact, it was incumbent upon the borough to consider the measures to avoid that impact before fixing on a particular solution”.
R (Kaur & Shah) v LB of Ealing [2008]

Non-delegation: The duty to have due regard cannot be delegated. The duty rests with the public authority even if they have delegated any functions to another organisation.

Instead of looking at how NICE as a public body could itself promote equal opportunity, having accepted that the Guidance could have a discriminatory effect … the approach taken was to leave it to others to sort out in the hope and expectation that they would. That, in my judgment is not good enough.
R (Eisai) v NICE [2007]

Continuing duty: the duty is a continuing one. It cannot be exercised once and for all, but must continually be revisited and borne in mind.

Record keeping: the law requires transparency about how decisions are reached. This involves recording the evidence used and publishing records of equality considerations with the relevant policy/proposal. It is useful to carry out this process when developing new policies as well as in the review of old policies.

The process of assessments should be recorded…..Records contribute to transparency. They serve to demonstrate that a genuine assessment has been carried out at a formative stage. They further tend to have the beneficial effect of disciplining the policy maker to undertake the conscientious assessment of the future impact of his proposed policy, which s71 requires.
R (Kaur & Shah) v LB of Ealing [2008]

We trust that you will take on board all of the above.



Dipen Rajyaguru
Director of Equalities & Diversity
Hindu Council UK