One month left to use paper £20 and £50 notes before they become unusable

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There's only one month left before paper £20 and £50 notes are withdrawn from circulation, so check your pockets and down the back of your sofa now.
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One month left to use paper £20 and £50 notes before they become unusable


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  • Mr.Generous
    Mr.Generous Posts: 3,427 Forumite
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    You can pay them into a bank though.
  • mr_stripey
    mr_stripey Posts: 675 Forumite
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    Thought I was reading the Daily Mail then! Headline is a little sensationalist for MSE really


  • Ebe_Scrooge
    Ebe_Scrooge Posts: 7,320 Forumite
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    And even if you're way past the deadline, in practice most banks will allow you to deposit old notes, long after they're been officially withdrawn from circulation.  Assuming you're with a bank that still has a physical high-street branch, of course.  As will the post office, if you have a bank account that can be accessed via the Post Office.
    And if you suddenly happen upon a stash of old notes years down the line, you can send them by post to the Bank of England who will exchange them, even decades after they've been withdrawn.



  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,495 Forumite
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    And even if you're way past the deadline, in practice most banks will allow you to deposit old notes, long after they're been officially withdrawn from circulation.  Assuming you're with a bank that still has a physical high-street branch, of course.  As will the post office, if you have a bank account that can be accessed via the Post Office.
    And if you suddenly happen upon a stash of old notes years down the line, you can send them by post to the Bank of England who will exchange them, even decades after they've been withdrawn.

    While not condoning the tone of the article, it does clearly explain those three options:

    If you miss the 30 September deadline - or you also still have the old paper £5 and £10 notes or the old 'round pound' - here's what to try:

    • Your bank may swap or deposit old paper notes and coins. Banks don't legally have to accept old paper notes and coins once they've been withdrawn from circulation. However, some may continue to allow you to swap them, while others may let you deposit old notes and coins into your account.

      Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander have all previously told us you can deposit old coins and notes into your account. However, PayPoint, which allows Monzo users to deposit cash into their accounts, said you'll have to go to the Bank of England to swap old notes. We're checking if this info still stands and we'll update this story when we know more. 
    • The Post Office will deposit old paper notes and coins into your bank account, which you can then withdraw. To do this, your bank will need to be signed up to receive cash deposits via the Post Office. You can check this on the Post office website, although many major providers are signed up. You can't, however, do a direct cash swap at a post office.
    • For notes only: If your bank or post office can't help, you can swap paper notes for polymer versions at the Bank of England. You can do this in person at the Bank of England (BoE) counter at Threadneedle Street, London. You may need to provide two original identity (ID) documents (this is mandatory for an exchange above £700).

      You can also do this by post, which may be the only option for those who don't live or work in London – though if you do this, consider paying extra for a delivery service that provides compensation if your post goes missing. You can find out more on the Bank of England website. The BoE will not accept old coins.
  • mr_stripey
    mr_stripey Posts: 675 Forumite
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    eskbanker said:
    And even if you're way past the deadline, in practice most banks will allow you to deposit old notes, long after they're been officially withdrawn from circulation.  Assuming you're with a bank that still has a physical high-street branch, of course.  As will the post office, if you have a bank account that can be accessed via the Post Office.
    And if you suddenly happen upon a stash of old notes years down the line, you can send them by post to the Bank of England who will exchange them, even decades after they've been withdrawn.

    While not condoning the tone of the article, it does clearly explain those three options:

    If you miss the 30 September deadline - or you also still have the old paper £5 and £10 notes or the old 'round pound' - here's what to try:

    • Your bank may swap or deposit old paper notes and coins. Banks don't legally have to accept old paper notes and coins once they've been withdrawn from circulation. However, some may continue to allow you to swap them, while others may let you deposit old notes and coins into your account.

      Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander have all previously told us you can deposit old coins and notes into your account. However, PayPoint, which allows Monzo users to deposit cash into their accounts, said you'll have to go to the Bank of England to swap old notes. We're checking if this info still stands and we'll update this story when we know more. 
    • The Post Office will deposit old paper notes and coins into your bank account, which you can then withdraw. To do this, your bank will need to be signed up to receive cash deposits via the Post Office. You can check this on the Post office website, although many major providers are signed up. You can't, however, do a direct cash swap at a post office.
    • For notes only: If your bank or post office can't help, you can swap paper notes for polymer versions at the Bank of England. You can do this in person at the Bank of England (BoE) counter at Threadneedle Street, London. You may need to provide two original identity (ID) documents (this is mandatory for an exchange above £700).

      You can also do this by post, which may be the only option for those who don't live or work in London – though if you do this, consider paying extra for a delivery service that provides compensation if your post goes missing. You can find out more on the Bank of England website. The BoE will not accept old coins.
    I think the article is fine, it's the headline which perhaps make things sound much more dramatic then they actually are. But that seems to be the way of getting clicks these days

  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,495 Forumite
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    I think the article is fine, it's the headline which perhaps make things sound much more dramatic then they actually are. But that seems to be the way of getting clicks these days
    Yes, the facts are summarised reasonably clearly but I agree that the headlining style is too tabloidy - 'unusable' could just about be argued to be synonymous with 'not accepted by retailers', but there's really no need to refer to:

    How to ensure your £20 and £50 paper notes don't become worthless

  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 15,026 Forumite
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    eskbanker said:

    How to ensure your £20 and £50 paper notes don't become worthless

    These notes may not be accepted by retailers but will not become worthless.  Various sensible ideas have been mentioned up thread but, with current inflation and energy costs, we could burn the old notes to keep the house warm for a bit.  Might well be cheaper than turning on the heating :wink:
  • biscan25
    biscan25 Posts: 452 Forumite
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    Some retailers will carry on accepting them anyway. My dad spent a bunch of old fivers the other day! Obviously they will just pay them into the bank but cannot give them out in change.
    Pensions actuary, Runner, Dog parent, Homeowner
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 31,495 Forumite
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    Grumpy_chap said:
    we could burn the old notes to keep the house warm for a bit
    ....or 'the House' ;)

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boris-johnson-denies-burning-50-20200632
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