New polymer £50 note enters circulation

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Ahmed Butt, Postmaster for Bletchley Post Office, with the new £50 polymer note

The new polymer £50 note featuring the scientist Alan Turing today (23 June) entered circulation for the first time. The new note will be available in bank branches and at ATM’s in the coming days and weeks.

The last day to use paper £20 and £50 notes will be 30 September 2022. These notes will no longer be legal tender after that.

The polymer £50 note contains advanced security features, completing Bank of England’s set of polymer banknotes. The note will join the Churchill £5, the Austen £10 and the Turner £20, meaning all Bank of England banknotes are now available on polymer.

Speaking as the note entered circulation, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John said: “The polymer £50 note is the most secure Bank of England banknote yet, and the features of the note make it very difficult to counterfeit.

“All of our polymer banknotes can be checked by looking for two key security features: a hologram which changes image; and see-through windows. So if you can check one denomination of banknote, you can check them all. The new £50 notes, like the polymer £10 and £20 notes, contain a tactile feature to help vision impaired people identify the denomination.”

Sample image of the new 50 pound note, featuring late mathematician Alan Turing obtained March 25, 2021. Bank of England/Handout via REUTERS

The new note is available at Bletchley Post Office, only place outside the City of London today where it can be seen by members of the public.

The note has been specially delivered to the local Post Office to commemorate the work done by Turing and his team at Bletchley Park that was so critical to winning the war.

“It’s great that the town’s residents and visitors can get their hands on the new £50 note at our Post Office before it goes into wider circulation across the rest of the country,” commented Ahmed Butt, Postmaster for Bletchley Post Office, said.

“Many of my customers feel more comfortable dealing in cash and the great news is that anyone with the old £50 note can still come into Post Offices and deposit them into their bank account, even after the old note is withdrawn by the Bank of England.”

Retailers have been urged to ensure that they aware of the new note’s security features as it begins to be used by customers. Further details about the new £50 note are available at www.new50.co.uk.

The Bank of England offers a free Banknote Checking Scheme which is open to businesses and retailers, more information can be found here.