Urgent warning for anyone still using paper £20 or £50 notes to pay for things

People still using paper £20 notes to pay for things have been issued with an urgent warning.

In a year, paper £20 and £50 notes will have their legal tender status withdrawn by the Bank of England, making them unusable in shops.

The old school paper £20 note was replaced by a polymer JMW Turner one in 2020. At the same time, a £50 note made from the same material and featuring Alan Turing went into circulation.

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Thinkstock generic image of Close up of woman hands holding £20 pound notes

Approximately nine billion worth of paper £20 notes and £15 billion worth of paper £50 notes are currently in circulation, it has been reported.

On September 30, 2022, The Bank of England will officially withdraw the legal tender status of both the paper £20 notes and the paper £50 notes.

However, members of the public will still be able to pay paper £20 and £50 notes into the bank, they will just not be able to pay for items with them.

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The Bank of England’s chief cashier, Sarah John, said: “In recent years we have been changing our banknotes from paper to polymer because this makes them more difficult to counterfeit, and means they are more durable.

“The polymer £20 featuring the artist JMW Turner, and the polymer £50 featuring the scientist Alan Turing are now in wide circulation, and we are in the process of withdrawing their paper equivalents.”

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