‘Don’t miss out!’ Britons urged to check as paper £20 & £50 notes to become void in weeks

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The Bank of England has said there’s still £6billion worth of paper £20 banknotes and £8billion worth of paper £50 banknotes in circulation. This is despite the fact that paper £20 and £50 banknotes will lose their legal tender status on September 30, 2022.

After the deadline of September 30, Britons won’t be able to use these paper notes in shops and supermarkets, but they will be able to pay them into the Post Office.

Martin Kearsley, Post Office banking director, said: “There’s still billions of pounds worth of paper £20 and £50 banknotes hidden away in the usual, and unusual, places people store cash at home.

“My strong advice is to take some time over the Summer holidays and check if you’ve got any paper notes that you’ve been meaning to deposit and haven’t got round to it yet.”

Mr Kearsley urged people to check for any old notes before the deadline because the changes will make it more difficult to spend them.

He added: “Time is running out, so make sure you don’t miss out.

“Remember to check old birthday cards from grandparents and other family members too.

“Post Offices are open long hours, with many open weekends, providing a convenient and secure place to deposit these old banknotes into your current account.”

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Once the 30 September 2022 deadline passes and the Bank of England has withdrawn the legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes, people will still be able to deposit paper notes at their Post Office.

The Post Office is predicting that by the end of August, over £1billion worth of paper £20 and £50 banknotes will have been deposited at branches since the start of the year.

January saw the highest value of £20 and £50 banknotes deposited at Post Offices at £168.5 million. Last month, the value was £122.6 million.

Postmasters have their branches set up to handle large volumes of cash with over £3 billion in cash deposited and withdrawn at Post Offices every single month.

The new style £20 and £50 notes entered circulation in Britain in 2020 and 2021 and the new design is much harder to damage or counterfeit.

In January, the Bank of England warned people about the September deadline and said now is a good time to spend old notes.

In a Twitter post the BoE said: “Last Christmas to spend your paper £20 and £50 notes.

“Retailers can still accept your paper £20 and £50 notes.”

How long do I have to spend paper £20 and £50 notes?

On September 30, 2022 the old style notes will be replaced by their polymer alternatives which are already in circulation.

The polymer £20 notes were first issued on February 20, 2020 while the new polymer £50 note first landed in peoples’ hands on June 23, 2021.

Although there are still a few weeks to go until they are completely void, Britons are being urged to spend them or deposit them at the bank as soon as they can.

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