Bank of England Releases New £20 Note

Published on
February 20, 2020
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Today, the Bank of England has issued the new polymer £20 note, featuring British artist JMW Turner and one of his most famous paintings ‘The Fighting Temeraire’.

This follows the introduction of the polymer £5 and £10 notes in 2016 and 2017. One of the motivations for the movement away from paper notes was to improve durability – the Bank expects the polymer notes to last for an average of 5 years in circulation compared to 2 years for the paper versions. As well as being more difficult to damage, Sarah John, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier stated that the polymer design is also ‘much harder to counterfeit’, which is crucial for the UK’s most forged and most commonly used banknote.

The paper £20 note will remain legal tender until the Bank of England withdraws it from circulation – the Bank has not yet announced a date for this but will give 6 months’ notice. Although shops may stop accepting the paper notes from the day they are withdrawn, most banks are likely to continue accepting old £20 notes from customers. As with all note changes, it will be possible to exchange the paper £20 notes past the withdrawal date with the Bank of England in London.

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