The Post Office is preparing for a “last moment” rush in customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes in its branches this week, before they can no longer be used in shops or to pay businesses.
September 30 is the last day that the Bank of England’s paper £20 and £50 banknotes will have legal tender status.
To date, £1.2 billion worth of paper £20 and £50 banknotes have been deposited at Post Office’s 11,500 branches.
The total has been made up of £372 million-worth of paper £20 banknotes and £820 million-worth of £50 banknotes.
So far this month, over £100 million-worth of the notes have been deposited at Post Office branches.
There's 1 week left to use your paper £20 and £50 banknotes. All polymer notes carrying a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II can continue to be used as normal after 30 September. https://t.co/0wA5voBkiJ pic.twitter.com/4srSheSdUa
— Bank of England (@bankofengland) September 23, 2022
After September 30, only polymer Bank of England banknotes will have legal tender status.
The new polymer £20 notes feature artist JMW Turner, and the new polymer £50 notes feature Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing.
Postmasters have their branches set up to handle large volumes of cash, with over £3 billion in cash deposited and withdrawn at Post Offices every month.
Martin Kearsley, Post Office banking director, 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.”
Once the September 30 deadline passes and the Bank of England has withdrawn the legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes, people will still be able to deposit paper notes at their Post Office and many UK banks will also accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers.