CWMBRAN shoppers were among the first in the UK to be able to withdraw the new £20 note from a cash machine today.

The new polymer £20 note featuring artist JMW Turner will replace the paper £20 note and has been hailed by the Bank of England as its most secure banknote yet.

Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds visited Cwmbran Centre’s NM Money store to withdraw one of the new notes from a machine there, to mark its launch.

As well as celebrating the launch of the new note, which features Tintern Abbey, Mr Thomas-Symonds called on the government to do more to protect access to cash on the high street in the Budget, due on March 11.

“I’m delighted to be here in Cwmbran and that Cwmbran is one of the first places to be issuing the new £20 note," he said.


“Access to cash is still very important. Even though we live in an increasingly online society, it’s important to have places for the community to access cash through banks and cash points.

“It’s not just important for people, but also for the regeneration of the high streets and town centres.

“Free access to cash is vital and must be protected by government, putting the interest of consumers first, before that of big banks.

“The Budget on March 11 is the perfect opportunity for the Chancellor to act.”

South Wales Argus:

Nick Thomas-Symonds, right, and Ben Pickford of NM Money, outside the store in Cwmbran Centre with one of the new £20 notes, featuring a Tintern Abbey window. Picture:

The paper £20 note is the UK's most commonly forged note - accounting for around 210,000 of 228,000 forged notes in the UK in the first half of 2019 - and the new note has been designed to make it virtually impossible to forge.

“NoteMachine is excited to be part of the launch of the new £20 note, but is concerned that this might be the last new note the UK sees," said Peter McNamara, chief executive of NoteMachine.

“An increasing amount of consumers are being forced to pay to access their own money, to the benefit of banks’ profit margins. This is not right.

“We have argued for years that the changes to the way the ATM network is funded would lead to a loss in free access to cash.

“It is vital that government and the regulator return to the earlier pricing mechanism which enabled providers to offer free to use ATMs, or risk this cash crisis getting even worse.”