Seven of the eight months since the new £20 note came out have been spent with coronavirus restrictions in place – but what does that mean if you still have unspent paper ones? We explain exactly how long you have left to use them.
On February 20, 2020, the Bank of England released a new, polymer, £20 note – to replace the existing paper ones.
In the eight months since then, it’s fair to say things have been a little unsettled – with lockdown seeing shops close, an accelerating move to contactless payments, and a rise in online shopping just a few of the consequences for the global coronavirus pandemic on the UK.
But if all that means you’ve not quite got round to spending any old, paper, £20 notes – there is some good news. The Bank of England has said that unspent, paper, £20 notes are still legal tender. “Don’t worry, you can still use the paper £20 note for now,” the Bank of England’s site reads.
The better news is there’s no rush to spend them – with the Bank also promising 6-months notice before they are withdrawn.
That means – at the time of writing – you have until at least April 2021 to spend them in shops.
Even after then, you can still exchange them for new £20 notes.
With the expiry of the paper £5 and £10 notes, a string of banks and the Post Office gave people extra time to pay paper notes into their accounts – even when they stopped being legal tender.
And there’s one way to guarantee to get your old £20 note swapped – head to the Bank of England itself.
As we transition to our new relationship we ALL need to take action to prepare.
There are guaranteed changes that will require both businesses and individuals to plan ahead – regardless of the outcome of negotiations with the EU.
That phrase “I promise to pay the bearer on demand” is something that doesn’t have a time limit on it, the Bank told Mirror Money.
The Bank of England’s head office in London’s note exchange desk lets anyone with an out of date note swap it for a current one – meaning anyone with an old note can head there and swap their paper tenners.
In fact, even if a note’s ripped, smashed, or otherwise vandalized, as long as there’s enough left to identify what it was, they will swap it for a new one.
To exchange your banknotes in person you can take them to the following address:
Bank of England