Paper £20 and £50 bank notes deadline approaching

Industry News - 17th August 2022

Remember to use up any paper £20 or £50 bank notes by 30 September 2022.

The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes after this date. This means that if you have any old £20 or £50 notes, you are encouraged to use them or deposit them at your bank or Post Office by the end of September. After 30 September only the polymer notes will have legal tender status. 

A recent Bank of England press release states that ‘while the majority of paper £20 and £50 banknotes in circulation have been replaced with new polymer versions, there are still over £6 billion worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith, and over £8 billion worth of paper £50 banknotes featuring the engineers Boulton and Watt, in circulation.’

The new polymer £20 note entered into circulation on 20 February 2020 and features the image of the artist JMW Turner, whilst the new £50 note features an image of the scientist Alan Turing and entered into circulation on 23 June 2021. Polymer is a thin flexible plastic that includes a number of important new security features. Polymer notes are cleaner, safer and stronger than existing paper notes. 

After this date, many UK banks will accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers and the Bank of England will exchange withdrawn notes.

Internet link: Bank of England website

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