- BofE says £9bn worth of £20 paper notes still in circulation
- Also £50 paper notes worth roughly £15bn
- After 30 September 2022, they will no longer be legal tender.
Old paper £20 and £50 notes worth £24 billion are still in circulation, according to new data from the Bank of England.
It is made up of 20 notes worth £9 billion – about 450 million notes, or eight notes for every adult in the UK.
Meanwhile, there are £50 notes worth £15 billion, about 300 million notes – or five for every adult in the UK.
It warns that it will withdraw the legal tender status of these notes after 30 September 2022 and is encouraging people to spend them or deposit them at their bank or post office before this date.
Out with the old one: top, old style paper £50 note and bottom, new style polymer one
They have been replaced with new polymer notes – the £20 version includes JMW Turner and £50 Alan Turing.
After the cut-off date, people with UK bank accounts may be able to deposit them at their bank’s branches, but this varies and limits may apply, as they are legally obligated to accept them. are not.
The Bank of England states that the post office may accept notes drawn as payment for goods and services or as a deposit in an account – but not as an exchange.
Failure to do so, people will be forced to go to the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London to exchange notes or send them via post, which comes with its own risks.
Shops and other services will also no longer be legally required to accept them from 30 September 2022.
The Bank of England states: “Legal tender” means that if a debtor pays the amount owed under the terms of the contract in legal tender, they have a good defense at law if the latter pays them. He is prosecuted for not doing so. loan.
In practice, the concept of “legal tender” does not govern the acceptability of banknotes as a means of payment. It is essentially a matter of agreement between the parties involved.
Sarah John, chief cashier of the Bank of England, said: ‘In recent years we have been switching our banknotes from paper to polymer because it makes them difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable.
‘We want to remind the public that they have a year from today to spend their paper notes.’
The new polymer £20 was issued on 20 February 2020, and the polymer £50 note was issued on 23 June 2021, which is when the paper versions began to be withdrawn from circulation.
This means that the Bank of England has reported little withdrawal of £50 paper notes and, as a result, there are far more in circulation than paper £20 notes.
Clydesdale Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland are also in the process of withdrawing their paper £20 and £50 notes and recommend that retailers and the public spend or deposit these notes by 30 September 2022. Do it.
The Bank of England says the introduction of polymer banknotes creates a new generation of security features that make them even more difficult to counterfeit.
The notes are said to be resistant to dirt and moisture and hence remain in better condition for a longer period of time.
These notes also have tactile characteristics that allow blind and partially sighted people to use them.
Recent data from the Bank of England also showed that there are 5 paper notes of £114 million and 10 notes of £76 million, which have already ceased to be legal tender.
But this is a very small total amount compared to the total value of the paper £20 and £50 notes.