Bank of Ireland and Danske Bank launched their new £20 banknotes on Monday this week, printed on De La Rue’s SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate and incorporating a De La Rue holographic stripe featuring DEPTH™ IMAGE and DUAL™ IMAGE respectively into the window of each note. This will be followed by the launch of the Ulster Bank £20 polymer note later this year.
This follows the launch of polymer £5 and £10 notes launched last year by all three banks and brings the total number of banknote denominations issued on SAFEGUARD® worldwide to 47.
Like the Bank of England and the three Scottish Commercial Banks the Northern Irish Banks continue to move to polymer to ensure that their banknotes are clean, secure and more durable.
By keeping existing design elements it makes the transition from paper to polymer notes easier for the public. The Bank of Ireland new £20 note retains the iconic image of The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim, the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. The Danske Bank £20 note has a similar design to the paper note featuring a portrait of County Down born inventor Harry Ferguson and the foil design is based on Belfast City Hall which has featured on the reverse of all the Danske banknotes for many years.
The notes include enhanced security features, including a holographic stripe, a clear window which can be seen from both the front and back of the note, GEMINI™ and MASK™ as well as a tactile feature with three arrangements of four dots in a square formation, enabling physical identification for the visually impaired.
Ian Sheppard, Managing Director NI, Bank of Ireland UK, said: “As the largest issuer of banknotes in Northern Ireland, the unveiling of our new £20 polymer banknote is an important milestone in our history.”
“Bank of Ireland UK remains at the forefront of banknote design technology and we have committed to polymer notes because they are cleaner, more durable, more environmentally friendly and, with enhanced features, they are more secure than ever before.
“Our switch from paper to polymer for our £5, £10 and £20 notes is an example of our innovation and commitment to meeting the evolving needs of consumers.”
Nicola McCleery, Danske Bank's Head of Transaction Banking, said: "In recent years the banking industry as a whole has been moving towards polymer notes as they are generally cleaner, harder to counterfeit and more hard-wearing than paper notes.
"NI consumers are already used to using various denominations of polymer notes, and the time is now right to complement our polymer £10 note, with this £20 note. As we’ve kept our design quite similar to our paper note it will be easy for consumers to recognise it."
Ruth Euling, Managing Director for Currency at De La Rue said: “We are delighted to have been able to work with the Northern Irish Banks to help them continue the switch to polymer with the latest addition of the £20 note.”
“Our design team listened carefully to our customer requirements and worked hard to ensure each note design worked together to create a family of beautiful notes for each Bank to reflect the rich and varied heritage of Northern Ireland.”