The New £20 British Banknote

The New £20 British Banknote

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate


More than 3.6 billion British banknotes are used today. But how well do we really know our money?

What you need to know about the new £20 note

Say goodbye to our paper £20 notes as a new polymer version is released, featuring the famous British artist, JMW Turner. Popular for his watercolour landscapes and seascapes, Turner was known as ‘the painter of light’ as he used such brilliant, vivid colours.

After receiving 29,701 nominations to be the face of our new banknote, Turner was selected the Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, with input from the public and the Banknote Character Advisory Committee. When the artist was chosen, the Governor said, ‘Turner is perhaps the single most influential British artist of all time.’

Expect to see the painter’s face across all our £20 notes as they begin circulation. 

What else do you need to know about the new note? Here are the key facts:

  • The new £20 banknote will be issued on 20 February 2020.
  • It’ll be printed on polymer like the rest of our new notes. Polymer notes are more hygienic, harder to break and less likely to be counterfeited than paper notes.
  • You can still use your paper £20 note until it’s withdrawn from circulation – the date for this will be announced after the new note is released.
  • After the old £20 is withdrawn, you’ll have six months to use it. If you find a paper note after this date, it will no longer be classed as legal tender, but the Bank of England will exchange it for you.

Learn more about our money in the Ocean Finance blog, where we’ve covered everything from the germs lurking on our cash to the cost of designer dogs.

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The New £20 British Banknote The New £20 British Banknote