On 18 December 2013, the Bank of England announced a new process for selecting the historic characters that feature on Bank of England banknotes.
Through this process, which better incorporates input from the public and external experts, the Bank aims to celebrate achievement and contribution across a wide range of skills and fields, and to depict characters that cumulatively reflect the diverse nature of British society. Today, the Governor has announced the appointment of Sir David Cannadine, Sandy Nairne and Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey as external members of the Banknote Character Advisory Committee that will help decide both the field and characters for future Bank of England notes. This Committee will be chaired by Ben Broadbent and will also include Victoria Cleland.
Over the coming months, the Committee’s first task will be to choose a field to be represented on the next £20 banknote. Following this, in early summer, the public will be invited to nominate people from within this field who, during their lives, helped to shape British thought, innovation, leadership, values and society.
A further three independent members, with expertise in the specific field chosen for the £20 note, will be invited to join the Committee later this year. Once the public nominations have been received, the full Committee, with input from public focus groups, will draw up a shortlist of characters from which the Governor will make the final choice.
Commenting on the appointments, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said:
“I am delighted that Sir David Cannadine, Sandy Nairne and Baroness Lola Young have agreed to be the inaugural members of our new Committee. Through their expertise, they will provide invaluable advice to the Bank.
With an incredible and diverse range of people having shaped the history of the United Kingdom, the Committee faces a challenging, but exciting task. I look forward to hearing which field the Committee will choose. More importantly, of course, I look forward to the public’s suggestions for the next character.”
Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier and Director Notes said:
“The depiction of historical characters is an integral feature of our banknotes, providing an opportunity to celebrate individuals whose accomplishments or contributions have been of lasting benefit to the United Kingdom. It is essential that the choice of characters commands broad public respect and legitimacy. This Committee will help ensure we achieve this.”