Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is an archipelago made of seven main islands and approximately 170 named islets and rocks, with the total area of 54 square kilometers. Though it is a small archipelago, Bermuda has one of the highest per capita income in the world. It is the fifth highest Gross National Income in the world. Bermuda is known to be a tax haven for corporate entities. Most of its economy relies heavily on offshore financial services for non-resident firms, especially offshore insurance and reinsurance. Approximate 60% of Bermuda’s economic output comes from international business. Tourism is also a major economic sector, with 28% of Bermuda’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) attributed to tourism.
Bermuda used the pound sterling as its currency until February 6, 1970. Since then, Bermuda adopted the dollar. The Bermuda Government was in charge of the circulation of Bermuda banknotes in the market. In February 20, 1969, the Bermuda Monetary Authority was established and resumed monetary functions of the Bermuda Government. Bermuda circulated its own banknotes since 1914. Three British monarchs have been featured on Bermudan banknotes: King George V from 1920 to 1936, King George VI from 1937 to 1951, and Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to 2009. The Bermudan pound banknotes featured the royal crest on their reverse sides. However, the Bermudan dollar replaced the royal crest with different landmarks and major island towers. In 2009, the Bermuda Monetary Authority issued redesigned banknotes to commemorate two things: the 40th anniversary of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, and the 400th year of British explorer Sir George Somers’ settlement. These banknotes are all vertically oriented. The obverse side of the notes featured different endemic species of animals instead of a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The 2-dollar note of the 2009 issue received the IBNS Bank Note of the Year award in the same year.