Bank of England notes

Only a few weeks left to spend paper notes

Paper £20 and £50 notes will no longer be legal tender after 30 September 2022

If we have any £20 or £50 paper notes kicking around we only have until the end of September to spend them or deposit them in a bank.

Most bank notes in circulation are now the new plastic versions but there are still a whopping £6bn of paper £20s going around. And there are more than £8bn of the paper £50 notes.

The Bank of England says these notes will no longer be legal tender after 30 September.

The Bank has been making the change to plastic because it’s harder to create fake notes. They’re also tougher and last longer than paper. The last one to be added was the £50 Alan Turing note, which was introduced last year.

The back of the paper £20 that is being removed from circulation

The £20 notes show economist Adam Smith and the £50 depict businessman Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt. If we have any of these at home, we should spend or deposit them now.

If we want to keep cash, we can swap our paper notes for plastic ones at the bank. Some banks and post offices may even swap them for us after the deadline.

The same thing is happening with Scottish paper £20 and £50s. Scottish banks plan to continue accepting them but shops and other retailers may not, so it’s a good idea to spend or deposit these ones now as well.

The end of these notes comes as some of us are finding it harder to get by if we rely on cash.

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