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Brits Urged To Check Their £20 Notes Before They're Taken Out Of Circulation

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Brits Urged To Check Their £20 Notes Before They're Taken Out Of Circulation

Brits are being urged to spend their £20 notes before they’re taken out of circulation this autumn.

Paper £20 and £50 notes will no longer be spendable from 30th September 2022 in a move by the Bank of England to tackle the circulation of counterfeit money.

People should find and collect all the paper £20 notes from their purses, pockets and bags before the cut off date to avoid disappointment.

However, if you are unable to spend them before the date, the Bank of England has said it will swap old notes for their face value.

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Paper £20 notes will expire this September. (Credit: Alamy)
Paper £20 notes will expire this September. (Credit: Alamy)

According to an investigation by BBC Wales, there are 360 million paper £20 notes currently in circulation.

Furthermore, 209 million paper £50 notes are still being used.

In fact, almost £19 billion in old banknotes are still spent a mere six months before they stop being legal tender.

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The shocking figures revealing how many old notes were still in homes were uncovered after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by BBC Wales.

Paper £5 and £10 notes were taken out of circulation in May 2017 and March 2018 respectively and they have not been accepted as a method of payment since.

You can exchange paper £20 notes for polymer ones at your bank. (Credit: Alamy)
You can exchange paper £20 notes for polymer ones at your bank. (Credit: Alamy)

It’s not just old paper money Brits should be concerned about. The Royal Mind revealed about 105 million of the old, rounded £1 coins have not been returned.

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The new £1 coin was introduced in October 2017 with 12 sides in order to combat counterfeited coins.

The Royal Mint said out of the 1.6 billion coins that were returned, around 1.45 million were counterfeits.

If you happen to find an old £1 in your belongings, you can exchange it at your bank or post office.

A spokesperson for the Bank of England confirmed that people can always exchange their old notes for a new-style polymer one.

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The polymer £20 notes are much harder to counterfeit. (Credit: Alamy)
The polymer £20 notes are much harder to counterfeit. (Credit: Alamy)

Paper banknote holders will also be able to post their old cash to the Bank of England to have it deposited into their account or exchanged for polymer.

Notes made of polymer plastic are supposedly better than paper, because they last twice as long, they're more difficult to counterfeit, and they are more environmentally friendly.

Polymer bank notes are also designed in a way to allow blind and partially sighted people to identify them.

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The gradual transition to polymer banknotes started with the £5 note in May 2017.

Alternately, if you have a UK bank account, you can deposit paper £20 and £50 notes with your bank.

Don’t forget to check your notes!

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Money

Gregory Robinson
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