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De La Rue restructures as £20 note launches

The new polymer £20 bank note, which was printed by security print firm De La Rue, has entered circulation. The firm has also begun a restructuring process after concerns of its future were raised at the end of last year.

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De La Rue has come back fighting as the new £20 enters circulation

Featuring artist J.M.W Turner, the new note is the third in the new polymer substrate series after the £5 and £10 notes.

Promising to be safer than ever, the design wasn’t a simple one to print. It features two windows, a hologram, two-colour foiling and a silver foil patch incorporating a 3D image of the coronation crown.

According to De La Rue, the design took two years to proof, scale-up, trial and produce and this new series is of particular significance to the firm as it is the first to use De La Rue’s Safeguard as a polymer substrate. The new £20 is the 42nd banknote to be issued on this substrate globally since its launch in 2012. 

De La Rue will supply the base material for Bank of England for a further seven years after winning a contract with the Bank of England in 2017. Its Safeguard material will also be used in the future for £50 in 2021, and future £10 and £5 notes, after it secured an additional eight-year contract.

This new note is an important part of our commitment to providing cash that consumers can use with confidence and marks a step forward in our fight against counterfeiting

Sarah John, Bank of England Chief Cashier comments: “We have worked very closely with De La Rue on this note, from the initial design through to the mass production, and are very pleased with the result.

“This new note is an important part of our commitment to providing cash that consumers can use with confidence and marks a step forward in our fight against counterfeiting.”

In November 2019, De La Rue revealed that its future may be at risk if a “comprehensive turnaround plan” fails. This news came after it lost the post-Brexit UK passport printing contract to a French-Dutch firm and as a result jobs were lost at its Gateshead plant.

The firm also reported a financial loss of 14.9% in its 2019/2020 half year report and blamed a decline in currency volumes and average price as contributors to this decline.

Despite this, De La Rue has recently appointed Rob Harding as interim Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Harding will begin his role on March 9th, 2020 and the firm has expressed optimism that his experience in finance and turnaround will help it to re-shape business.

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