The UK's most common bank note will be printed on polymer, the Bank of England has announced.
In a statement today, the Bank said the next £20 note will be printed on a “more secure, durable and cleaner material”. That decision followed “extensive research into developments in security features for notes printed on cotton-based paper and polymer”. The excitement never stops at the Bank of England....
Read more: Polymer in your pocket?
This comes after the Bank announced the next £5 and £10 banknotes will also be printed on polymer, following a 10 week public consultation that found 87 per cent of respondents in favour of the change.
Victoria Cleland, the Bank's chief cashier, said in a speech in Bristol:
So, why polymer? Primarily, because polymer - incorporating complex windows and sophisticated security features - delivers a leap forward in counterfeit resilience. Experience from central banks that have issued polymer banknotes has been positive.
Canada, for example, has seen a real reduction in counterfeit levels since launching its polymer series a few years ago. Polymer is also cleaner and more durable, leading to better quality notes in circulation.
The polymer £5 note featuring Winston Churchill will be issued in autumn 2016, while the £10 note, which will feature Jane Austen will enter circulation a year later.
The £20 note will enter circulation in three to five years’ time, featuring a visual artist nominated during the public nominations period.
Polymer notes are also more environmentally friendly than paper and, as they last longer, are cheaper than paper banknotes over time.
There are currently 1.9bn £20 notes in circulation, up from 1bn a decade ago, while there are just 320m £5 notes in circulation and 737m £10 notes.