When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?

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Blog > Currency > Pound Sterling

When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?


When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?

The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes after 30 September 2022. According to the Bank of England, the majority of banknotes have been replaced but there are still more than £6bn worth of paper £20s and £8bn worth of paper £50s in circulation. After 30 September, these will no longer be legal tender.


Which ones are the polymer notes?

The latest polymer banknote to be issued was the £50 note “featuring Bletchley Park codebreaker and scientist Alan Turing” last year. The first plastic £20 note, featuring artist JMW Turner, was issued in February 2020. The £10 polymer features author Jane Austen, while the £5 shows war-time prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Why are they changing?

Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John said “Changing our banknotes from paper to polymer over recent years has been an important development, because it makes them more difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable." She also encouraged everyone to: “spend them now, or deposit them into a bank account.”


But what can I do with my old notes?

Don’t panic: the Bank of England honours every banknote that's ever been printed, so you'll always be able to take, or post, your note to London to swap it for a new one.

If you miss the 30 September deadline, you may still be able to deposit old notes at your bank. 

And what about in Spain?

At our Eurochange exchange currency offices you can bring them to us at any of our locations and we exchange you pound to euro .