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One year left to spend paper £20 and £50 banknotes

The Bank of England will be withdrawing the paper £20 and £50 notes from legal tender after 30th September 2022, it has announced today.

According to the bank, there are approximately £9 billion worth of paper £20 and £15 billion worth of paper £50 notes still in circulation.

As they are returned to the Bank of England, these are being replaced with the new polymer £20 notes featuring J.M.W. Turner, and polymer £50 notes featuring Alan Turing.

After 30th September 2022, the new polymer notes will be the only ones with legal tender status. However, those with a UK bank account will still be able to deposit withdrawn notes into their account. Some Post Offices may also accept withdrawn notes as payment for goods and services or as a deposit to an account accessed via them.

The Bank of England will continue to exchange all withdrawn notes.

Speaking ahead of the date, the Bank of England’s chief cashier Sarah John said: “In recent years we have been changing our banknotes from paper to polymer because this makes them more difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable.

“The polymer £20 featuring the artist J.M.W. Turner, and the polymer £50 featuring the scientist Alan Turing are now in wide circulation, and we are in the process of withdrawing their paper equivalents. So we want to remind the public that they have one year from today to spend their paper banknotes.”

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