Spend or deposit £20 and £50 paper notes, says ACS

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Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is calling on to spend or deposit £20 and £50 notes at their bank or Post Office as the Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of these notes after September 2022.

“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,” ACS said on Thursday (31).

After Sept 30 this year, the new polymer notes will be the only ones with legal tender status. People with a UK bank account will still be able to deposit withdrawn notes into their account, says ACS.

Some Post Offices may also accept withdrawn notes as payment for goods and services or as a deposit to an account accessed via them, ACS said.

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. These notes also have tactile features that allow the blind and partially sighted to use them.

Figures from the 2021 Local Shop Report show that almost one in four convenience stores (24 percent) provide Post Office services in store. Around half of convenience stores provide a free to use cash machine for customers (49 percent).

BoE will continue to exchange all withdrawn notes.

BoE has also issued posters which retailers can display in store to remind customers about the withdrawal of paper £20 and £50 notes.