The new polymer £20 has finally entered circulation, marking the start of the Bank of England's mammoth operation to replace the most popular and forged banknote in the country.
At least 2billion have been printed, and the Bank expects half of the country’s cash machines to be loaded with them in the next fortnight.
In Scotland, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale will launch their polymer £20 notes on February 27, with the Royal Bank of Scotland following on March 5. Banks in Northern Ireland will also change over in 2020, but there is no specific date.
The Bank of England said the new polymer £20 will be its most secure ever banknote.
It comes after its own statistics found 88% of detected cash forgeries in the first half of 2019 were £20 notes.
The new edition will include two see-through windows and a two colour foil to help beat forgers.
But you'll still be able to use your old paper notes for many months to come. The Bank will give six months' notice ahead of its legal tender status being withdrawn.
Who is JMW Turner?
Joseph Mallord William Turner was an English romantic artist from the eighteenth century. The landscape painter was just 14 years old when he became a student at the Royal Academy of Art in London.
Turner later became world-renowned for his oil paintings of the English countryside.
He was chosen to feature on the new note after Bank of England governor Mark Carney asked the public to nominate a deceased cultural figure.
The note will feature Turner’s self-portrait, one of his most eminent paintings The Fighting Temeraire, his signature and a quote.
When are the new £20 notes entering circulation?
The new £20 note will enter circulation on Thursday, February 14. It will begin the Bank of England's mammoth phase out of the old, paper notes, considered the most forged denomination in the country.
Where can I get a plastic £20 note?
The public will begin to see the new £20 from 20 February 2020, as the notes leave cash centres and vaults around the country and enter general circulation through banks, building societies and post offices.
You'll be able to continue to use and spend your paper £20 notes as usual – these will be gradually withdrawn as they are banked by retailers and the public.
The Bank says that they'll be available at all cash points in England and Wales within the next fortnight.
In the meantime, you'll be able to pick one up at the Bank of England's currency desk and at certain branches and Post Offices – although the Bank has not revealed exactly which branches this will be.
Are there any banks in particular?
Then Bank of England has kept tight lipped about exactly where it'll be distributing the first batches, however we do know Santander will be stocking them from Thursday.
Santander said 12 branches: Birmingham, Bradford Nelson Street, Cardiff, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool Lord Street, London Triton Square, Tottenham Court Road, Moorgate, Margate, Milton Keynes and Newcastle, will all be stocking them over the counter.
Santander’s director of transformation and support, Kirsty Lacey said: "We’re delighted to be stocking the new notes in over a dozen of our branches on the first day of launch. With the £20 note being the UK’s most frequently used banknote, we welcome the new security features provided by the polymer notes and the confidence it provides to our customers."
The remainder of Santander branches will receive the new £20 notes over the coming weeks with stock expected at all branches by the middle of March. Santander will continue to accept the cotton £20 notes across its branches.
Are there any rare serial numbers to watch for?
As with the new polymer £5 and £10 notes, some are expected to be more valuable than others – and a few will be entering the hands of the public.
The very lowest serial number notes (considered the rarest) are given to the Queen, while the Bank of England will also auction some of the rarer notes for charity.
But, excitingly, the Bank of England told to Mirror Money that not all of them are being reserved and a slew of rare AA serial numbers will be entering general circulation too.
And if you find one you might well discover it's worth an awful lot more than £20.
We've got a full guide on rare polymer £20 notes, here.
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