Consumers warned Friday is last day paper banknotes can be spent

The paper banknotes will lose their legal tender status after September 30

Published

Friday is the last day that people can use the Bank of England’s paper £20 and £50 notes in shops or to pay businesses.

After September 30, the paper banknotes will lose their legal tender status.

The paper £20 banknotes featuring economist Adam Smith and the £50 notes featuring entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt have gradually been replaced with new polymer versions.

As paper notes have been returned to the Bank of England, they have been replaced with either polymer £20 notes featuring artist JMW Turner, or polymer £50 notes featuring Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing.

The Post Office said it's preparing for a 'last moment' rush in customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes.
The Post Office said it's preparing for a 'last moment' rush in customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes.

The Post Office said this week it was preparing for a “last moment” rush in customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes in its branches.

It said at the time that £1.2 billion of paper £20 and £50 banknotes had already been deposited at its 11,500 branches.

Once the September 30 deadline passes, people will still be able to deposit paper notes at their Post Office and many UK banks will also accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers.

New banknotes featuring King Charles III are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024 and his portrait will appear on existing designs of all four denominations of banknote – £5, £10, £20 and £50.

In line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch, existing stocks of notes featuring the Queen will continue to be issued into circulation, the Bank of England said earlier this week.