Saturday, June 25, 2022

Just 100 days to spend billions of pounds of old £20 and £50 notes

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Consumers have just 100 days to spend £16 billion worth of paper banknotes before they are no longer legal tender.

Millions of paper-printed £20 and £50 notes remain in circulation, but only the newer polymer versions can be used from 1 October.

Anyone who has the old currency has until September 30 to spend it, the Bank of England said, or deposit the notes at a bank or post office.

The £20 paper note features economist Adam Smith, while the £50 note features portraits of entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt.

It is estimated that more than 300 million £20 notes and 160 million £50 notes remain in circulation.

£50 plastic notes featuring an image of famed Bletchley Park codebreaker and scientist Alan Turing were first issued a year ago after being introduced in £5, £10 and £20 denominations.

Bank of England Treasurer Sarah John said: “The switch from paper to polymer banknotes in recent years has been an important development as it makes them harder to counterfeit and makes them more durable.

“The majority of paper banknotes have now been phased out but a significant number remain in the economy so we urge you to check you have any at home.

“These can still be used for the next 100 days or deposited with your bank as normal.”

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