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Bank of Scotland unveils two new £20 polymer notes

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The new £20 notes retain Sir Walter Scott and The Mound in Edinburgh, as well as the Forth Bridge.

The Bank of Scotland has unveiled the design of its new polymer £20 note which will enter circulation early in 2020.

The front of the note will continue to feature the portrait of the Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, alongside the image of The Mound in Edinburgh. The distinctive red Forth Bridge remains on the reverse which was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2015.

One of the key security features of Bank of Scotland’s polymer notes is the anti-counterfeit “window effect” which can be found in the windows of The Mound.

The £20 polymer note features a holographic depth stripe, the top of the foil features a Northern Lights effect when tilted, additionally the clouds adjacent to “Fame” will move left to right when tilted east to west.

Holders of the new £20 polymer note will recognise a new image of the Forth Bridges, with the Queensferry Crossing visible in the background.

In celebration of the longest three-tower, cable stayed bridge in the world, the Queensferry Crossing will be celebrated in its own right by featuring on a limited number of commemorative £20 notes. Designed by De La Rue, the commemorative notes will be marked with ‘QF & QC’ with this pre-fix featuring only on this design. Sir Walter Scott will remain on the front of the note.

Tara Foley, Bank of Scotland managing director, said: “Bank of Scotland has issued bank notes for more than 320 years, showcasing the country’s proud history. The Queensferry Crossing is the perfect example of Scottish ingenuity and innovation, and that’s why we have decided to commemorate the landmark site on a collection of our £20 polymer notes.”

Measuring 139 x 73 mm compared to the current 149 x 80mm, the two notes are slightly smaller than the existing paper £20 notes in circulation. This size is consistent with the new £20 notes that will be issued by the Bank of England and other UK banks next year.

Like the £10 polymer note, the £20 note will also introduce the tactile emboss feature to aid the visually impaired.

All existing paper Bank of Scotland £20 notes will be gradually withdrawn following the issue of the new note, but any currently in circulation will continue to be accepted at shops, banks and cash payment machines.