Britain’s next £20 banknote will be printed on plastic, like the new £5 set to enter circulation in the second half of 2016 and the new £10 note scheduled to arrive in 2017. The new £20’s are further down the road, expected to enter circulation by the end of 2020.
The Bank of England announced the move to polymer £5 and £10 banknotes in December 2013. Earlier this month, UK’s central bank told the public about the polymer £20’s.
"The Bank made the decision to move to polymer for the £20 note following extensive research into the developments in security features for notes printed on cotton-based paper and polymer since the 2013 decision was made," the central bank said in a news release.
In addition to providing advanced security features to deter counterfeiters, research conducted by the Bank of England indicates that:
- Polymer banknotes are more durable. They last at least 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes so will take much longer to become ‘tatty’, improving the quality of banknotes in circulation.
- Polymer banknotes are resistant to dirt and moisture so stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes.
- Polymer notes are also more environmentally friendly than paper and, because they last longer are, over time, cheaper than paper banknotes.
The polymer £5’s will feature Winston Churchill while the £10’s will honor Jane Austen. The plan is to celebrate an artist on the £20, which is Britain’s most common tender. The polymer notes will be smaller by about 15%.