Two weekend warning for Brits planning to spend £20 and £50 notes
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Brits are being urged to check their wallets for £20 and £50 notes as the paper notes will no longer be legal tender after 30 September.
The Bank of England began replacing the paper notes with polymer notes back in February 2020, and warned that the old notes would expire at the end of September.
It might be a good time to clear out your pockets and check between the sofa and use any hidden paper notes before it's too late.
The September deadline allows plenty of time for frantic parents to grab those last minute back to school bits and could even go towards those lunchbox treats for the little ones.
Of course, the deadline is well timed for older students who plan to booze it up during fresher's week this year. While contactless payment might be preferred on a night where you're far from sober, you'll probably be glad to have used those old notes you had lying around.
If you're hoping to make the most of the summer weather, make sure you grab those paper notes before you hit the beer gardens.
For those who are unable to spend their old paper notes or would rather save their money for a rainy day, old paper note can be deposited into a UK bank account.
Although the majority of paper notes have been phased out, the BBC, estimates that there are 163 million paper £50 banknotes still in circulation and 314 million £20 paper notes.
The move away from paper notes follows the £5 note which stopped circulating in May 2017, followed by the £10 note which was replaced in March 2018.
The change to polymer notes, makes banknotes more durable as well as being more difficult to counterfeit.
The 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.
"The majority of paper banknotes have now been taken out of circulation, but a significant number remain in the economy, so we’re asking you to check if you have any at home."
According to The Bank of England, the polymer notes have enhanced security features such as the see through window and the hologram, which makes them harder to counterfeit.
“They’re stronger, too: a polymer fiver is expected to last two-and-a-half times longer than the old paper £5 note. Although, while our notes are stronger, they are not indestructible – so you should still take care of them," they added.
The Bank of England also claims that polymer notes are more environmentally friendly thanks to their longer lifespan, which has been backed up by The Carbon Trust, who have confirmed the carbon footprint of polymer £5 notes is 16 percent lower than the former, paper fivers.
Paper twenties and fifties issued by Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland will also go out of circulation after 30 September, as will £20 and £50 notes from AIB Group, Danske Bank, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland and Bank of Ireland.
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