Paper bank notes UK: when do old £20 and £50 notes go out of circulation - deadline date and how to exchange

The old style £20 and £50 notes will be phased out - but you’ll still be able to exchange them

There’s not much time left to use paper banknotes which are still in circulation. In June, the Bank of England issued a warning of the impending deadline.

Over £19 billion worth of the notes are still used but from October they will be not accepted as a form of payment.

The old style £20 and £50 notes will be redundant after today (30 September) in an attempt to tackle fake money.

How long will paper notes be accepted for? 

The Bank of England will continue to swap old notes for their face value, but people are being warned to use up the 775 million paper notes, before the start of October.

Chief Cashier Sarah John said : “Over the past few years we have been changing our banknotes from paper to polymer, because these designs are more difficult to counterfeit, whilst also being more durable.

“A large number of these paper notes have now been returned to us, and replaced with the polymer £20 featuring the artist J.M.W. Turner, and the polymer £50 featuring the scientist Alan Turing. However if members of the public still have any of these paper notes in their possession, they should deposit or spend them whilst they can”.

The paper £20 remain legal tender until 30 September 2022.

What notes are valid to use after 30 September?

£5 and £10 notes have already been fully replaced, with paper banknotes in these denominations being withdrawn in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Last year the Bank introduced the £50 polymer note featuring scientist and famed World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing.

The £20 polymer note, which was released in February 2020, features artist J. M. W. Turner.

All polymer Bank of England notes will be valid to use in the UK as legal tender after 30 September.

How to exchange old bank notes

If you miss this deadline, the Bank of England said that many banks will accept the “withdrawn notes as deposits from customers” and so will the Post Office.

You can also exchange the paper notes at face value for the new polymer ones directly at the Bank of England which is based in London.

Are any old coins still in circulation?

Also in circulation are £105 million of old one pound coins, five years since losing their tender status, according to the Royal Mint.

Details of the cash still in circulation or hiding in homes was revealed in a Freedom of Information request by BBC Wales.

The round £1 coin was demonetised at midnight on 15 October 2017 and replaced by a supposed counterfeit-proof five-sided version.

Of the 1.6 billion £1 coins returned to the Mint, about 1.45million were found to be counterfeited.

The old version of the £1 coin can also still be deposited at high street banks - but should not be spent in shops.