BoE asks people to get rid of old paper notes

Bank of England

There were 300 million old £20 and 160 million paper £50 notes still in use at the end of June

Irish people with £20 and £50 British banknotes stashed away have just two months to use or exchange them before they become worthless.

The Bank of England is withdrawing the paper notes at the end of September and replacing them with more durable polymer versions.

After September 30, the paper banknotes will no longer be accepted as legal tender anywhere in the UK, meaning anyone left holding them will lose their money.

While most of the paper currency has already been replaced since the Bank of England started the changeover more than two years ago, there is still £14bn worth in circulation – some of it possibly outside the UK.

There were 300 million old £20 and 160 million paper £50 notes still in use at the end of June. The Bank of England is trying to get members of the public to use them before the deadline.

Holders of the expiring currency can spend the cash in the meantime, deposit them in a UK bank or post office account, or exchange them for euro locally.

Paper £20 notes issued in Northern Ireland by Bank of Ireland, AIB, Danske Bank and Ulster Bank will also be withdrawn after September 30, 2022, as will £20 and £50 notes issued by Scottish banks.

Paper £20 notes started to be withdrawn from circulation on February 20, 2020, when the polymer £20 entered circulation. Paper £50 notes started to be withdrawn on June 23, 2021, when the polymer £50 note entered circulation.

Once the last of the old £20 and £50 paper notes leave circulation, all non-coin denominations of sterling will be polymer. The Bank of England had been switching from paper to polymer in recent years because the synthetic notes were more durable and harder to counterfeit, said Bank of England chief cashier Sarah John. They are also waterproof, dirt-proof and recyclable.

However, some users complain they are harder to fold and too slippery, making them more awkward to use than traditional paper notes.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by our writers are their own and do not represent the views of Getting Money Wise. The information provided on Getting Money Wise is intended for informational purposes only. Getting Money Wise is not liable for any financial losses incurred. Conduct your own research by contacting financial experts before making any investment decisions.

getting money wise

Welcome! Get your FREE access to EVERYTHING we publish…

Our goal is to show anyone how to make investing profitable. You’ll get our FREE weekly newsletter with latest news and information on investment topics along with special offers. Please take time to read our privacy policy . The information you provide us will be processed in accordance with this.