New £20 note design revealed by Bank of England
10 October 2019, 15:24
The design for the new £20 note, which features artist JMW Turner's work and sophisticated security features, has been revealed.
The new £20 note will celebrate artist JMW Turner and his legacy "in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory", according to the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
Mr Carney said: "As the new Turner £20 testifies, money can be a work of art in everyone's pocket."
The new note will also contain high-tech security features in an attempt to curb forgeries.
Currently, the £20 note is Britain's most forged bank note.
The new £20 note depicts Turner's celebrated painting the Fighting Temeraire, which is a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire and its role in Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
It was voted the nation's favourite painting in a 2005 poll.
Other features of the new banknote include the quote: "Light is therefore colour", taken from an 1818 lecture by Turner referring to the use of light, shade, colour and tone in his pictures.
Turner's signature also appears on the new banknote.
The existing £20 note is the most common note in circulation and also the most forged.
Around 88% of detected banknote forgeries in the first half of this year were in connection to £20 notes, according to Bank of England statistics.
The Bank said the new note is "the most secure Bank of England banknote yet".
It incorporates two windows and a two-colour foil to thwart counterfeiters.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry, said: "As the most common note in circulation, small firms will be pleased to see the money they are working with is going to become safer and more secure.
"This will mean that small businesses can spend time and money on other issues away from fraud."
Like the polymer £10, the new £20 note will contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.
The new note will join the Sir Winston Churchill £5 and the Jane Austen £10.
A new £50 note, featuring Alan Turing, will follow in 2021.
People can carry on spending the current paper £20 notes, featuring the economist Adam Smith for now, and the Bank said that notice will be given six months ahead of legal tender status of the paper £20 being withdrawn.
At the launch, Mr Carney was asked if the new £20 would be the last due to the decline in cash use across the UK in recent years.
He said: "We will produce cash as long as the British public want to use cash."
Mr Carney said many people still use cash for budgeting and everyday purchases and continued: "This note, because it's stronger and safer and cleaner, they'll last for up to 15 years, so we have to get it right, that's why we've added all these features.
"And we had to make it look good and we think it looks great, thanks to Turner."