ARCHIVED ARTICLE This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Image of Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 10/10/2019
bank sign on building

News contents

The Bank of England has unveiled the new design of the £20 note today, which features the artist JMW Turner and will be released into circulation from 20 February 2020.

Security features

The new polymer £20 note contains security features, which the Bank of England claims makes it the most secure banknote it has issued to date. For the first time, the note incorporates two windows and a two-colour foil, making it very difficult to counterfeit.

Polymer, which is the same material used on £5 and £10 notes, lasts longer than paper notes and stays in better condition during everyday use. The new £20 note will contain a tactile feature to help vision-impaired people identify the note’s value.

Consumers will be able to continue using the old £20 note as usual after the new note has entered circulation and there will be a six-month warning before the old note is withdrawn completely.

Who is JMW Turner?

Turner was a late 18th and early 19th Century English painter, who’s painting The Fighting Temeraire was voted the nation’s favourite painting in a 2005 poll run by BBC Radio 4. The painting, which is currently on display in the National Gallery, is a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Commenting on the new note, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said: “Our banknotes celebrate the UK’s heritage, salute its culture, and testify to the achievements of its most notable individuals. And so it is with the new £20 banknote, featuring JMW Turner, launched today at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Turner’s contribution to art extends well beyond his favourite stretch of shoreline. Turner’s painting was transformative, his influence spanned lifetimes, and his legacy endures today. The new £20 note celebrates Turner, his art and his legacy in all their radiant, colourful, evocative glory.”

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.”


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice. will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by will always be from Be ScamSmart. will never contact you by phone to sell you any financial product. Any calls like this are not from Moneyfacts. Emails sent by will always be from Be ScamSmart.