6 months until £20 and £50 paper notes axed

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Withdrawn from circulation: the paper £20 and £50 notes will no longer be legal tender from 30 September 2022 (image: Getty/yorkfoto)
Withdrawn from circulation: the paper £20 and £50 notes will no longer be legal tender from 30 September 2022 (image: Getty/yorkfoto)

Related tags: Finance, Bank of england, Cash

The paper £20 and £50 notes will no longer be considered legal tender from the end of September.

The polymer £20 note, which was first issued on 20 February 2020, has various security features to help operators confirm the cash is genuine​.

This included a hologram image that alters if it is tiled from side to side (the words should change between ‘twenty’ and ‘pounds’).

Other security features include a portrait of the Queen printed on the window with £20 Bank of England’ printed twice around the edge.

Security details

It also shows a round purple foil patch containing the letter ‘T’ on the back of the note, directly behind the silver crown on the front.

Paper £50 notes started to be withdrawn on 23 June 2021 when the polymer version entered circulation, which also has a myriad of features that can help confirm authenticity.

One of these features is a metallic hologram that changes between the words ‘fifty’ and ‘pounds’ when the note is tilted.

Another is a largely transparent window with a gold and green foil on the front, showing a details metallic microchip image.

Polymer notes

Furthermore, a security point to note on the £50 note is that, under a good quality ultraviolet light, the number 50 appears in bright red and green on the front of the note, against a duller background as well as a portrait of the Queen printed on the window with ‘£50 Bank of England’ printed around the edge.

All polymer notes have two key security features – a hologram that changes image and see-through windows.

The polymer £5 note was the first to change from paper, which was issued on 12 September 2016 and features Sir Winston Churchill. The £10 note followed this in September 2017 and features Jane Austen.

The latest edition of the £50 note means all Bank of England banknotes are now available on polymer.

Related topics: Legislation

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