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New, difficult to counterfeit £20 note unveiled

A new design for the £20 note has been hailed as the most secure Bank of England note yet.

The polymer £20 note, featuring the artist JMW Turner, is said to contain sophisticated new security features that make it very difficult to counterfeit. These include two see-through windows, one large in the shape of the Trafalgar Square fountains and a smaller one in the bottom corner of the note, as well as two-colour blue and gold foil on the front.

Further features include a metallic hologram which changes between the word ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted as well as a silver foil patch with a 3D image of the coronation crown.

The note, which was unveiled today at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, Kent, will be issued for the first time on 20th February 2020. It will join the Churchill £5 and the Austen £10 with a new £50 note, featuring Alan Turing, following in 2021.

The public can continue to spend current £20 notes as usual and these will be gradually withdrawn as they are banked by retailers and the public. Notice will be given six months ahead of legal tender status of the paper £20 being withdrawn.

The new £20 note will be the first to feature the signature of Sarah John, the Bank’s chief cashier. She said: “The new £20 is an important part of our commitment to providing banknotes that people can use with confidence. Our polymer notes are much harder to counterfeit and, with the £20 being our most common note, this marks a big step forward in our fight against counterfeiting. I hope the public will look forward to spending their new Turner £20s from February next year.”

The £20 note is said to be the most commonly used note and the most frequently counterfeited.

Fish and chip shops can go to the new £20 website to order or download free training materials.

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