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£20, £50 Pound Notes Will Expire By 30 Sept. 2022!

The Bank of England is reminding everyone that the £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes will expire in just 2 months!

Here is what you need to know…


£20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Notes Set To Expire!

The Bank of England is reminding everyone that they have less than 3 months to use or swap their £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes, which will soon expire!

The £20 and £50 pound sterling paper notes can still be used until 30 September 2022. After that, they are no longer legal tender.

But that does not mean they are worthless! Check in the next section on what you can do once these paper pound sterling notes expire!

£20 Pound Sterling

The £20 paper note featured the economist Adam Smith, and was introduced in 2007.

It is being phased out with a new £20 polymer note featuring the artist JMW Turner. This new polymer note was introduced on 20 February 2020.


£50 Pound Sterling

The £50 paper note featured the entrepreneur Matthew Boulton, and the engineer James Watt. This paper note was introduced in 2011.

It is being phased out with a new £50 polymer note featuring the scientist Alan Turing. This new polymer note was introduced on 21 June 2021.


What To Do After £20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Notes Expire?

After 30 September 2022, the £20 and £50 paper pound sterling notes will expire, and no longer be legal tender. They are more properly considered withdrawn notes.

That means you cannot use them to purchase goods and services, or pay businesses with them.

However, many UK banks will still accept these “expired” £20 and £50 paper notes as deposits. You can then withdraw new polymer notes from your bank account.

Some Post Office branches will also accept £20 and £50 paper notes as payment for goods and services, or as a deposit into a bank account.

As a final resort, the Bank of England (BoE) will readily exchange these withdrawn notes, through these methods :

By Post

The Bank of England accepts withdrawn notes sent to them by post. But be aware that you would be sending the notes at your own risk, and should take “appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft”.

You will need to fill in this postal exchange form, and send it to Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH, together with

The BoE will pay the money into your bank account, by cheque, or in new banknotes (if the exchange is less than £50).

The BoE will also accept overseas exchanges, but you will need to provide a BIC/SWIFT code as well as your IBAN or bank account number. The BoE will not charge for this service, but your account must be able to accept GBP, and your bank or intermediaries may charge you for this service.

Bank of England Counter

The Bank of England offers a counter service at Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH, which is open from 9:30 AM to 3 PM, Monday to Friday. It is closed on the weekend, and on bank holidays.

However, the BoE warns that this counter can have long queues, and waiting times may be up to an hour. So they recommend sending your banknotes through post.

Those who are exchanging their withdrawn paper notes at the counter should bring two original identity documents – one photo ID, and one proof of address (mandatory for exchange of £700 or more).

You may be asked to fill in a form, or provide additional evidence to support the origin of the banknotes. For example, if the money was from an estate, you will need to provide copies of death certificate, wills or grant of probate.

The BoE will give you new banknotes, or pay the money into your bank account (which currently takes at least 20 working days due to the backlog).

They can pay the money into any account that accepts GBP payments via SWIFT transfer. They do not charge for this service, but your bank / intermediaries may charge you.


New £20 + £50 Paper Pound Sterling Security Features

When you get the new £20 and £50 pound sterling polymer notes, be sure to look out for their new security features.

Hologram Image Change

If you tilt the new polymer notes from side to side, you will see the hologram image change between “Twenty / Fifty” and “Pounds”.

See Through Windows

Look at the metallic image over the main window. Check the foil is gold and green on the front of the note and silver on the back.

Within the two gold foil squares on the front of the note, the image changes between ’50’ and a ‘£’ symbol when the note is tilted.

Look for a second, smaller window in the bottom corner of the note.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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