Use £20 and £50 paper notes by October 1 before they become worthless, Bank of England says

Shoppers in a ‘race against time’ to spend £19 billion on paper £20 and £50 notes by October 1 before they become worthless and shops start rejecting them

  • Buyers will no longer be able to spend old £20 notes and £50 notes soon
  • The money will lose its value on September 30 when they are removed
  • Paper notes have been phased out in favor of plastic alternatives that are more secure.

Shoppers are in a race against time to spend £19bn on paper £20 and £50 notes because shops will stop accepting them in six months.

Paper bills have been swapped out for plastic replacements in the last two years to improve security.

But there is still up to £19bn of old £20 and £50 notes in circulation in Britain, adding up to 775m separate notes.

A stack of old £20 notes that will become useless

A stack of old £20 notes that will become useless

The old paper notes of 5 and 10 pounds have already been discontinued

The old paper notes of 5 and 10 pounds have already been discontinued

Paper bills have been swapped out for plastic replacements in the last two years to improve security.

Paper bills have been swapped out for plastic replacements in the last two years to improve security.

The Bank of England, pictured, said that paper notes retain their face value forever despite changes.

The Bank of England, pictured, said that paper notes retain their face value forever despite changes.

That number is down from the £24bn in circulation reported in September last year.

The £50 note featured a graphic of Alan Turing, the Bletchley Park cryptographer who is credited with cracking the German Engima code to help the Allies win World War II.

The £20 note features an image of the famous English romantic landscape painter JMW Turner.

The BoE chose Turner, who died in 1851, from a list of visual artists that included filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, painter William Hogarth and designer Josiah Wedgwood.

The deadline to use them is September 30, when they will no longer be legal tender and will be rejected in stores.

ADDITIONAL SECURITY FEATURES ON POLYMER £20 NOTES

– A large clear window with blue and gold foil on the front depicting the Margate Lighthouse and Turner Contemporary.

– A smaller transparent window in the lower corner of the note, inspired by Tintern Abbey.

– Turner’s self-portrait, painted around 1799 and on display at Tate Britain.

– A metallic hologram that changes between the word ‘Twenty’ and ‘Pounds’ when the note is tilted.

– The Queen’s portrait in the transparent window with ‘£20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.

– A silver foil patch with a 3D image of the coronation crown.

– A metallic purple patch that contains the letter ‘T’ and is based on the Tate Britain staircase.

The Bank of England says it will continue to redeem old notes at face value.

It comes after the £5 and £10 notes were replaced more than four years ago.

Buyers can send old notes to the London BoE or deposit them at their local bank.

The banknotes include several newer security features, including a change in the holograms displaying the text “Twenty Pounds” and a transparent window with a graphic of Big Ben.

They also show the amount in a checkered color when placed under an ultraviolet light.

The new banknotes contain a tactile function to help visually impaired people identify the denomination.

A Bank of England spokeswoman said: “All genuine Bank of England notes that have been withdrawn from circulation retain their face value forever.”

When plastic notes were first introduced with the newer version of the £5 note, drug users claimed that the note cut their noses when they snorted cocaine.

‘Indestructible’ polymer notes are hard to tear and can survive washing machine and other spills.

The notes are resistant to dirt and moisture, helping them stay in better condition for longer, and each note is expected to last up to three times longer than previous paper versions.

The Bank has made efforts to change its iconography in recent years, including a redesign of its logo.

It revised its 328-year-old Britannia logo in an effort to become more “inclusive,” freeing it of its money in the process.

The seal, which shows the female personification of the British Isles, has been redesigned, with the Bank saying it wanted it to ‘reflect our current mission and values’.

The Bank has played up its ‘waking up’ credentials in recent years, proudly declaring itself a Stonewall Champion of Diversity, after joining a scheme run by the controversial charity.

The Bank has been careful to change its iconography in recent years, including a redesign of its logo

The Bank has been careful to change its iconography in recent years, including a redesign of its logo

Partners including the BBC, the House of Lords and the Cabinet Office recently left the charity over concerns it could put pressure on employers to change their policies to reflect its trans rights agenda.

The bank, which has not disclosed the cost, says it has also made changes to its website to make it easier for people to read.

While the entire logo has not been changed, there are a number of obvious differences between the new and old.

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