Hot on the heels of the new style £5 and £10 notes, the Bank of England have announced their plans to introduce new polymer £20 notes. They have been unveiled to feature a very prominent British artist, who was chosen using a new character selection process.
The Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has been quoted as saying “I am delighted to announce that JMW Turner has been chosen to appear on the next £20 note. Turner is perhaps the single most influential British artist of all time. His work was transformative for the art world. His influence spanned his lifetime and well beyond.”
Turner was chosen using a new process that involved a nomination period between May and July 2015. A huge amount of nominations were received, which is a testament to the accomplishments and innovation of British historical figures.
The note will feature a self-portrait of JMW Turner and elements of one of his most important paintings, “The Fighting Temeraire”. The original portrait was painted circa 1799 and is currently showing at the Tate Britain. “The Fighting Temeraire” was a tribute to the HMS Temeraire which played a significant role in the Battle of Trafalgar. It will also feature a quote from one of his 1818 lectures “light is therefore colour” as well as his signature, taken from his will, in which he left many of his paintings to the nation.
These new style of polymer notes are being used for their durability and also because they are much more difficult to forge. With technology evolving all the time, it is important that The Bank of England stays one step ahead of new forging techniques being used to ensure the safety of the general public from crime. This new design will also feature braille, helping visually impaired people to differentiate between the different notes. This great feature was also included on the previous modern notes.
When the new £5 notes were unveiled, the Bank of England faced many critics due to the revelation that the manufacturing process for the notes used animal fat, and it was contained within the finished notes. They conducted an investigation and it was concluded that to remove the notes currently in circulation would be too costly to the taxpayer. However as far as the new £20 notes are concerned, the bank has reportedly delayed signing the manufacturing and supply contracts in order to look into plant based alternatives. This will take a few months to trial and the final decision regarding how they are made is likely to be announced in the summer.
As with the introduction of any new currency, any businesses in the financial or commercial industry need to prepare for the change. If your company uses machines that accept or dispense cash, such as ATMs, vending machines or self-service checkouts, it is best to contact the manufacturers as soon as new notes are announced to discuss what changes need to be made. The changes may range from a simple software update, to new machinery being fitted. Always make sure that you allow for plenty of time to implement these changes before the new notes are introduced.
As soon as the new notes are released, the old ones will be taken out of circulation. If you are a commercial business, it is your responsibility to ensure that new notes are given out to customers in place of the old ones at every available opportunity.
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