Paper £20 and £50 notes will stop being legal tender in just 100 days time.
The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal status for paper banknotes in the two denominations after September 30th.
The central bank is encouraging anyone who still has paper version of the notes to deposit them at their bank or a Post Office ahead of the date.
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It is a year since the bank issued the new polymer £50 banknote featuring the scientist Alan Turing, on what would have been his 109th birthday. The Turing £50 completed its family of polymer notes, with all denominations (£5, £10, £20 and £50) now printed on polymer.
While the majority of paper £20 and £50 banknotes in circulation have been replaced with new polymer versions, there are still over £6bn worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith, and over £8bn worth of paper £50 banknotes featuring the engineers Boulton and Watt, in circulation.
That equates to 300 million individual £20 banknotes, and 160 million paper £50 banknotes.
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.
“The majority of 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 100 days, these can still be used or deposited at your bank in the normal way.”
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.
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