Just one week left to spend paper £20 and £50 notes as new polymer notes become only legal tender

There is only one week left to use paper £20 and £50 notes in shops before they are no longer legal tender on September 30

  • People only have until the end of the week to spend paper £20 and £50 notes
  • After September 30 the paper purple and red notes will not be legal tender 
  • Paper notes will not become worthless and can still be exchanged in banks  

There is only one week left to use paper £20 and £50 notes in shops before they are no longer legal tender.

After September 30 the paper notes will essentially become worthless in shops, so for anyone hoping to spend the cash before it goes out of circulation will need to use it soon.

The replacement £20 and £50 notes, made out of polymer, have been in circulation for more than two years now, after being released in February 2020.

The old notes with Adam Smith on the £20 notes and £50 notes with images of Matthew Boulton and James Watt will not be legal tender from next week.

There is only one week left to use paper £20 and £50 notes in shops before they are no longer legal tender on September 30

There is only one week left to use paper £20 and £50 notes in shops before they are no longer legal tender on September 30

Instead, the new, shinier notes with images of Alan Turing on the £50 and painter J. M. W. Turner on the reverse of the £20 note will be the only legal tender.

Anyone sitting on a wad of paper notes, however, will not lose out.

The notes will not lose their value and can still be taken to banks in exchange for the new polymer notes.

The switch to the synthetic notes was made to make the cash more durable to wear and tear, as well as being harder for criminals to counterfeit.

Banks will not exchange counterfeit notes even if you end up with the cash by accident.

The replacement £20 and £50 notes, made out of polymer, have been in circulation for more than two years now, after being released in February 2020

The replacement £20 and £50 notes, made out of polymer, have been in circulation for more than two years now, after being released in February 2020

Eventually the new polymer notes will be replaced so that new money, bearing the image of King Charles, can be distributed, slowly replacing the money with the images of the late Queen.

The new coins and notes will need to be designed and minted, or printed. 

Then The Royal Mint advisory committee must send recommendations for new coins to the Chancellor and obtain royal approval. 

Designs are then chosen and the final choices approved by the Chancellor and then the King. 

The old notes get destroyed and will then be composted.

Another change will be that while the Queen’s image faces to the right on coins, new ones will show the King facing left. 

This is due to a tradition dating from the 17th century to alternate the way successive monarchs are facing. 

The Queen’s coins did not appear until 1953 – the year after her accession. 

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