Spend or deposit £20 and £50 notes soon, says retailers association

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A retailers’ association has reminded everyone to spend or deposit £20 and £50 notes soon as Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of the paper £20 and £50 notes after 30 September 2022, amid reports that there are billions worth of these currency notes still in circulation.

“The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of the paper £20 and £50 notes after 30 September 2022, and we are encouraging anyone who has these at home to spend or deposit them at their bank or Post Office,” the Association of Convenience Stores said in a statement last week.

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 Sept 30 2022, the new polymer notes will be the only ones with legal tender status, ACS said.

After September 2022 people with a UK bank account will still be able to deposit withdrawn notes into their account. Some Post Offices may also accept withdrawn notes as payment for goods and services or as a deposit to an account accessed via them.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 new polymer £20 was first issued on 20 February 2020, and the polymer £50 note was first issued on 23 June 2021. These notes complete the Bank of England’s first polymer series. The introduction of polymer banknotes allows for a new generation of security features which make them even harder to counterfeit. 

The notes are also resistant to dirt and moisture and so remain in better condition for longer. Additionally, these notes also have features that allow blind and partially sighted to use them.