New Scottish £20 notes: when Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale £20 polymer notes were launched - and when old notes expire

February 2020 saw the launch of the brand new polymer £20 note in England and Wales, featuring a self portrait of renowned British landscape artist, William Turner

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

But while the new note entering circulation caused excitement south of the border, what have Scots got to look forward to from their own tender?

A number of new polymer £20 notes came to Scotland that same month, designed to have a lifespan double that of their paper counterparts; the plastic material is less likely to tear, and the new notes only begin melting at 120°C.

Here's everything you need to know about them:

What will the Bank of Scotland's new notes look like?

The Bank of Scotland's new polymer £20 notes don’t be feature any new people or landmarks, but they do give the images of the existing note's fixtures an update.

The front of the note continues to feature the portrait of the Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, alongside the image of The Mound in Edinburgh, while the distinctive red Forth Bridge remains on the reverse.

But the note's update is more about security features and quality of life fixes than aesthetic changes.

The anti-counterfeit “window effect” which can be found in the windows of The Mound is one of the new note's key security features, and the £20 also features a holographic depth stripe and a "Northern Lights" effect when tilted.

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

In addition to the new standard £20 notes, a limited number of commemorative were also be produced.

In celebration of the Queensferry Crossing, the bridge - which was forced to close for the first time this year when blocks of ice fell from its cables, damaging cars - will feature more prominently on notes marked with the serial number prefix, ‘QF & QC’ .

This prefix only features on this design, and Sir Walter Scott will remain on the front of the note.

"The Queensferry Crossing is the perfect example of Scottish ingenuity and innovation," said Bank of Scotland managing director, Tara Foley.

"That’s why we have decided to commemorate the landmark site on a collection of our £20 polymer notes.”

What will Clydesdale Bank's new notes look like?

Similar to the Bank of Scotland's new polymer notes, Clydesdale Bank's new notes are more an updating of an old design rather than a radical overhaul.

They still feature a portrait of Robert the Bruce together with the years of his birth and death, and a depiction of a spider and its web.

When will the new notes enter circulation?

The new notes entered circulation a week after their English counterparts, on Thursday 27 February.

Will I still be able to use my old notes?

Yes, you are still be able to use the paper £20 note until they are withdrawn them from circulation.

Much like the introduction of the plastic £5 and £10 notes, bringing the new £20 note into circulation is be a phased process, and the polymer £20 note co-circulates with the paper £20 note for the time being.

The exact date on which the old notes will expire has not yet been announced, but such dates are usually revealed at least six months in advance, to give you plenty of time to get rid of your old notes.