Post Office prepares for deposit rush of paper £20 and £50 notes before deadline

Friday is last day Bank of England’s old-style notes will be legal tender, having been replaced by polymer versions

The Post Office is preparing for a “last-moment” rush of customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes this week, before they can no longer be used in shops or to pay businesses.

This Friday, 30 September, is the last day the Bank of England’s paper £20 and £50 banknotes will have legal tender status, having been replaced by new polymer versions.

According to the Bank, there are still more than £5bn worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith in circulation, and nearly £6bn worth of £50 notes featuring the entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and the engineer James Watt.

“That’s more than 250m individual £20 banknotes, and more than 110m paper £50 banknotes,” the Bank said.

So far this month, more than £100m worth of the notes have been deposited at Post Office branches.

After Friday, people will still be able to deposit paper notes at their Post Office, and many UK banks will also accept the notes as deposits from customers.

The polymer £20 note features the artist JMW Turner, and the polymer £50 note features the Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing.

Post office operators have their branches set up to handle large volumes of cash, with more than £3bn in cash deposited and withdrawn at branches every month.

Martin Kearsley, the banking director of the Post Office, said: “We’re fully aware that people lead busy lives and some may put off depositing their paper £20 and £50 banknotes until the last moment.

“Postmasters and their staff are on hand to provide that human reassurance that your old notes have been deposited into your bank account and will provide a receipt too. Most Post Offices are open long hours including on Friday.”

Staff and agency

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Bank of England warns mortgage defaults to rise in months ahead
Survey of lenders paints gloomy picture of new deals drying up and end to ‘golden era’ of cheap mortgages

Julia Kollewe

13, Oct, 2022 @3:54 PM

Article image
Are big banks short-changing consumers by failing to reduce mortgage costs?
UK high street banks are accused of not passing on benefits of money market movements to savers and borrowers

Rupert Jones

01, Dec, 2022 @3:47 PM

Article image
Post Office announces plans to launch current account

Customers want 'simplicity, transparency and good value for money', says Post Office director of financial services

Hilary Osborne

10, Apr, 2013 @11:01 PM

Article image
People race to exchange paper banknotes before deadline
Queues form at Bank of England to swap old £20s and £50s before they stop being legal tender

Joanna Partridge

15, Sep, 2022 @6:32 PM

Business and unions help launch campaign for 'people's bank' based on Post Office network

Coalition believes institution should be used to create local banking infrastructure throughout the UK

Mark Milner, industrial editor

17, Mar, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
Post Office told to cut Bank of Ireland ties as it expands banking services
The Post Office has been urged to scrap its joint venture with Bank of Ireland after the government sets out its plan for a 'people's bank' delivered through the network

Jill Treanor

29, Mar, 2010 @5:26 PM

Article image
Coalition plans for Post Office Bank cause bafflement

Banking sources point out that Post Office already runs services with Bank of Ireland

Jill Treanor

20, May, 2010 @5:38 PM

Article image
Cash use rises amid bank closures and cost of living crisis, says Post Office
Britons finding it easier to manage budgets and monitor spending using notes and coins

Mark Sweney

10, Oct, 2022 @10:08 AM

Post Office may follow tender success with current account

New venture could ease payment of benefits and pensions and strengthen network

Mark Milner

19, Nov, 2008 @12:01 AM

Article image
Savers deposit more than £1bn at Post Offices for second month running
Business deposits also rise, showing reliance on cash despite shift online in Covid crisis

Julia Kollewe

11, May, 2021 @8:54 AM