Got an old £20 note? Five more days to spend it!


Paper £20 notes featuring Adam Smith and £50 notes with Matthew Boulton and James Watt no longer legal tender from Friday

Finding an old £20 banknote crumpled up in the bottom of your pocket used to be a cause for outright celebration – but from next month you could struggle to spend it. 

Both the traditional paper £20 note featuring an image of the economist Adam Smith and the paper £50 note with a picture of engineers Matthew Boulton and James Watt will no longer be legal tender after this Friday.

The paper currency has been replaced by new tougher-wearing, polymer-based notes, which are harder to forge. 

All change: The old paper currency has been replaced by new tougher-wearing, polymer-based notes, which are harder to forge

The replacement £20 notes feature an image of artist JMW Turner and the £50 note shows the scientist Alan Turing, who was involved in cracking the Enigma code that proved vital for Allied Forces in the Second World War. 

But even this newer money could be replaced sooner than expected following the coronation of King Charles III, which is expected in June next year. 

New currency featuring his profile will be gradually introduced to mark his reign.

It is worth rummaging around for the older £20 and £50 notes this week if you want to spend them in the shops. 

But there is no need to despair if you only stumble on a note after the deadline because high street banks and main post offices should still exchange them for the new legal tender for several years to come – or allow you to deposit them into your bank account. 

Fortunately, even if you were to discover an old note in several decades’ time there is no real need to panic. 

The Bank of England promises that you will always be able to exchange it for new currency.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk