THE deadline for cashing in your old £20 and £50 paper notes is looming – and you may have to wait in long queues to deposit them.
After September 30, 2022, you will no longer be able to spend old paper £20 and £50 notes – as they won't be valid legal tender.
Consumers have been told to cash them in before the deadline – but the Bank of England has warned of big queues ahead.
A statement on the bank's website says that you could be waiting more than two hours to exchange them at the Bank of England itself in London.
The statement reads: "The Bank of England Counter is currently open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday and is experiencing extremely high demand.
"There will be long queues and you may encounter waiting times in excess of two hours."
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Bank note warning as paper £20 and £50 deadline approaches
Here’s how long you have left to spend your old style paper £20 and £50 notes
It added that you may not get served if you arrive after 1pm, and advised consumers to send banknotes via post.
The address you should send them to is: Dept Nex, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.
Be warned, though, that posting them means the money is at risk of getting lost in the mail.
Post Office branches are accepting old paper notes as well.
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Use the Post Office online branch finder to see where your nearest one is.
The old paper have been replaced by plastic ones, and the Bank of England has been issuing urgent reminders to households to swap their old notes in.
Paper notes are being taken out of circulation because there are easier to counterfeit and are less durable.
As of June, there were still £14billion worth of the old style notes still in circulation – equivalent to more than 300 million individual £20 notes and 160 million £50 ones.
There were £6billion of paper £20 notes featuring economist Adam Smith still circulating, and more than £8billion worth of paper £50 notes featuring engineers Boulton and Watt.
While the artist JMW Turner features on the new £20 polymer notes, and mathematician Alan Turing is on the new £50 polymer notes.
If you miss the deadline, there's no need to panic.
You can still deposit notes at the Post Office or at the Bank of England itself after the September deadline.
You can find the full guidance on the Bank of England's website.
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