The Bank of England will be withdrawing the legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes after 30 September 2022.
After this date, paper £20 and £50 banknotes will no longer be legal tender. So the Bank of England is encouraging anyone who still has these to use them or deposit them at their bank or a Post Office during these next few weeks!
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. That’s more than 300 million individual £20 banknotes and 160 million paper £50 banknotes.
Speaking ahead of the date, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John said, “Changing our banknotes from paper to polymer over recent years has been an important development because it makes them more difficult to counterfeit and means they are more durable. Most paper banknotes have now been taken out of circulation, but a significant number remain in the economy, so we’re asking you to check if you have any at home. For the next few weeks, these can still be used or deposited at your bank in the normal way.”
If you find yourself with a supply of the old notes after the 30th of September, all is not lost as you can still get them exchanged for the newer style.
Old series Bank of England notes can be presented for exchange either in person at the Bank’s premises in London or sent by post (at the sender’s risk) to Dept NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.
As a reminder, the images below are the notes you need to get rid of pronto!
314 million paper £20 banknotes with a value of £6.3 billion (as of 27/05/2022), and 163 million paper £50 with a value of £8.2 billion (as of 10/06/2022) remain in circulation