The nuclear cap-binding complex (CBC) is a heterodimer composed of CBP20 and CBP80 subunits and has roles in the biogenesis of messenger RNAs (mRNAs), small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and microRNAs. CBP20 is a phylogenetically conserved protein that interacts with the 7-methyl guanosine (m7G) cap added to the 5' end of all RNA polymerase II transcripts. CBP80 ensures high affinity binding of the cap by CBP20 and provides a platform for interactions with other factors. Here we characterize an alternative splice variant of CBP20, termed CBP20S. The CBP20S transcript has an in-frame deletion, leading to the translation of a protein lacking most of the RNA recognition motif (RRM). We show that CBP20S is conserved among mammalian species and is expressed in human cell lines and bone marrow cells. Unlike the full-length CBP20, CBP20S does not bind CBP80 or the m7G cap. Nevertheless, CBP20S does bind mRNA, is localized to an active transcription site and redistributed to nucleolar caps upon transcription inhibition. Our results suggest that this novel form CBP20S plays a role in transcription and/or RNA processing independent of CBP80 or the cap.