Published On: Tue, Oct 12th, 2021

Warning as millions of old bank notes set to become void | Personal Finance | Finance

Thousands of people may have these old bank notes down the back of their sofa or in their children’s piggy banks so it’s important to have a look around to ensure people can still make use of this cash. On the AJ Bell Money & Markets podcast, Head of Personal Finance Laura Suter gave Britons a small warning to find these old notes.

“The Bank of England estimates that there’s still £24billion worth of these older notes in circulation which is quite a lot for the nation to find in the next year.”

From September 30, 2022, the new polymer £20 and £50 notes will be the only currency of this amount with legal tender status.

After being handed in, old notes will be replaced with the new polymer £20 notes featuring J.M.W. Turner and £50 notes featuring Alan Turing.

Paper banknotes have been removed as legal tender in place of polymer alternative.


They are set to be phased out entirely in September 2022, when it will no longer be possible to use these £20 and £50 notes.

The Bank of England has enforced this change to polymer notes to allow for enhanced security features, as well as making money high quality and long-lasting.

The improved security measures include a hologram image change, which allows cashiers to tilt the note from side to side in order to check the word change between ‘Twenty/Fifty’ and ‘Pounds’, which will confirm its validity.

Furthermore, the new notes include see-through windows.

Through this, cashiers will be able to examine the metallic image over the main window to see whether the foil is blue and gold on the front of the note and silver on the back.

A Freedom of Information request undertaken by BBC Wales has shown the amount of old notes still in circulation.

The Bank of England has shown more than £28billion in old £5, £10, £20 and even £50 notes have not been cashed in.

Shops will no longer have to accept old banknotes as payment for goods or services after the September 2022.

Although they cannot be used as legal tender after this date, the central bank will always accept them.

It is important to note that after the cut-off date, people will still be able to deposit withdrawn notes into their bank account.

A spokesperson told the BBC: “All genuine Bank of England banknotes that have been withdrawn from circulation retain their face value for all time.”

All Britons with old £20 and £50 notes are encouraged to visit their local bank branch or Post Office to exchange them for the notes as soon as possible.

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