Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster, is a constituent unit of the United Kingdom. It is located in the northeastern quadrant of the island of Ireland and is composed of six out of the nine counties from the historic Irish province. Northern Ireland was created in 1921 after Ireland was partitioned by the unionists in the north who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom and the separationists in the south who wanted an independent Irish Free State. Southern Ireland then became the Republic of Ireland.
As a unit of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling. A pound was equivalent to 20 shillings, or 240 pence. However, after decimalization in 1971, one pound became equivalent to 100 pence. Unlike other units in the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth members, Northern Ireland banknotes have never featured the portrait of the reigning monarch. Initially, six retail banks had the right to issue banknotes in Northern Ireland, but due to mergers and acquisitions, only four retail banks remained in 2015. Northern Irish Law has no definition for legal tender notes, only coins. Therefore, while Northern Irish notes are legal currency throughout UK, they are not legal tender anywhere, even Northern Ireland itself. Tellers in Northern Ireland dispense notes from all current Northern Ireland and Scotland issuers as well as Bank of England notes. Areas near the Republic of Ireland also use the euro.