100 Days for Old Paper £20 and £50 Note Hoarders To Spend

Published / Last Updated on 25/06/2022

The Bank of England this week announced on Thursday that that if you have old, paper £20 and £50 notes, they cease to become legal tender in just 100 days.

The Bank of England started issuing  polymer/plastic-based notes for longer durability in 2016.  £5 polymer notes in 2016, £10 polymer notes in 2017 and £20/£50 notes in 2020.

After 30th September 2022, you will still be able to exchange/swap £20 and £50 at the local post office and many banks.

This story prompted some exchanges with contacts in Australia and Canada who have some older £20 notes from their travels in the UK and this set us thinking about not just expats but also ‘cash hoarders’ and ‘under the bed’ savers that have larger numbers of sterling note reserves.

The paper £5 and £10 are gone and now the clock is ticking for paper £20 and £50 notes.  Many people overseas will not be able to spend them before 30th September or drop into a UK bank of post office with heading back to the UK.

What If I cannot make it back to the UK?

Do not despair, the Bank of England offers two other services that are available whether you live in the UK or note:

  1. If you do finally make it back to the UK or are already in the UK, you can visit the Bank of England Counter service at the Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London.  Be warned there is usually a large queue.
  2. If you prefer, there is a postal service for all.  Application forms for both consumers and businesses are available the Bank of England website https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/exchanging-old-banknotes

Identity Verification

The Post Office, High Street Banks and the Bank of England will likely ask for proof of identity e.g., passport and driving licence as well as proof of address.  It is a legal requirement to verify you ID if you wish to change £700 or more.

Entering UK with Large Amounts of £20/£50

It is a legal requirement to declare money being brought into the UK at the customs border if you enter the UK with £10,000 or more.  It is for the HM Customs and Border Forces to then verify the source and allow entry or not.

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