Only 1 week left to use your paper £20 and £50 banknotes

News release

This is the last week that our paper banknotes can still be used.

The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes after 30 September 2022. After this date businesses will no longer be accepting these banknotes as payment.

All polymer banknotes carrying a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, and the public can continue to use these as normal. A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of Royal mourning has been observed.

After 30 September 2022 you will not be able to use paper banknotes. However the following options will remain available:

  • If you have a UK bank account, you will normally still be able to deposit them at your bank, or into your account at a Post Office.
  • You can exchange certain withdrawn paper banknotes for polymer notes at a limited number of Post Office branches. This is a new service, and the full list of branches is on our website.
  • You can exchange withdrawn banknotes with the Bank of England, including by post.

Although the majority of paper £20 and £50 banknotes in circulation have been replaced with new polymer versions, there are still over £5 billion worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith, and nearly £6 billion worth of paper £50 banknotes featuring the engineers Boulton and Watt, in circulation. That’s more than 250 million individual £20 banknotes, and more than 110 million paper £50 banknotes.footnote [1]


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