Huge change to banknotes in Britain

Credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

A huge change has been announced that affects banknotes in Britain.

AN announcement from the Bank of England on Wednesday, March 23 explains a huge change coming that will affect banknotes in Britain, as households are warned to act fast.

In an attempt to crack down on fake money circulating in the country, paper banknotes will lose their legal tender status from September 30, 2022.

£20 and £50 notes are set to be withdrawn in just over six months and while the Bank of England has said it will continue to swap old notes for their face value, those that fail to use up their notes before the deadline risk losing them.

As reported by Glouchester Live, more than £19 billion (€23 billion) worth of paper banknotes are currently still in circulation and now the Bank of England has warned households to ‘use up the 775 million paper banknotes before the autumn deadline or face having them rejected in stores’.

Paper £10 and £5 banknotes have already been withdrawn.

A spokeswoman explained that “all genuine Bank of England banknotes that have been withdrawn from circulation retain their face value for all time”. People can also post old notes to the bank in Threadneedle Street, in the City of London, to be paid into a bank account, by cheque or, “if you live in the UK and your exchange is worth less than £50”, swapped for new-style polymer ones.

Although the new-style polymer ones or ‘plastic’ ones were introduced to stop counterfeiting and were considered safer, early notes ran into problems.

On early polymer notes, the Queen’s face could be rubbed off with pencil erasers, while notes could shrink to a quarter of their size if ironed while inside a pocket, as reported by the Mirror.

However, Mark Carney, the former Bank of England boss who was behind their introduction, said: “Polymer notes are safer than paper notes and last more than twice as long.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at