The Bank of England’s note issue deadline is approaching

British £20 banknotes in London, UK Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Time is running out to dispense the last remaining £20 and £50 notes.

With just 100 days left before the old Bank of England notes lose legal status, it’s now spend, spend, spend.

People are encouraged to drop them off at their bank or post office before September 30th.

While the majority of paper £20 and £50 notes in circulation have been replaced by new polymer versions, there are still more than £6 billion worth of paper £20 notes, which feature economist Adam Smith and over £8 billion worth of paper £50 notes in circulation featuring entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt.

That’s more than 300 million individual £20 notes and 160 million paper £50 notes.

It’s been a year since the bank first issued the polymer £50 note, which features Bletchley Park codebreaker and scientist Alan Turing.

The Turing £50 completed the bank’s ‘family’ of polymer notes, with all of its denominations – £5, £10, £20 and £50 – now printed on polymer.

Bank of England Treasurer Sarah John said: “The switch from paper to polymer banknotes in recent years has been an important development as it makes them more difficult to counterfeit and more durable.

“The majority of paper banknotes have now been phased out but a significant number remain in the economy so we urge you to check you have any at home.

‘These can still be used for the next 100 days or deposited with your bank as usual.’ The Bank of England's note issue deadline is approaching

Justin Scacco

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