The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes after 30 September 2022.
After this date, paper £20 and £50 banknotes will no longer be legal tender. So we are encouraging anyone who still has these to use them or deposit them at their bank or a Post Office during these last 100 days.
It is also exactly one year since we issued the polymer £50 banknote featuring the scientist Alan Turing, on what would have been his 109th birthday. The Turing £50 completed our family of polymer notes, with all denominations (£5, £10, £20 and £50) now printed on polymer.
While the majority of paper £20 and £50 banknotes in circulation have been replaced with new polymer versions, there are still over £6 billion worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith, and over £8 billion worth of paper £50 banknotes featuring the engineers Boulton and Watt, in circulation. That’s more than 300 million individual £20 banknotes, and 160 million paper £50 banknotes.
Speaking ahead of the date, the Bank of England’s Chief Cashier Sarah John said “Changing our banknotes from paper to polymer over recent years has been an important development, because it makes them more difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable. The majority of paper banknotes have now been taken out of circulation, but a significant number remain in the economy, so we’re asking you to check if you have any at home. For the next 100 days, these can still be used or deposited at your bank in the normal way.”