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Bank of England: £9bn Old Cash Still Unclaimed

Bank of England

About £9 billion in outdated banknotes remain uncashed in the UK. According to the Bank of England, they may still be cashed or exchanged.

BNR – Despite the fact that paper £20 and £50 notes were no longer legal tender in October, about £9 billion in outdated banknotes remained uncashed throughout the UK. Paper banknotes have given way to plastic notes with a number of security measures.

The revoked banknotes, according to the Bank of England, may still be cashed or exchanged. According to the Royal Mint, there are another £87 million in old £1 coins that have not been cashed yet.

BBC Wales Investigates: Uncovering the Hidden Cash Stash

BBC Wales obtained information on the cash still in circulation or hidden in houses through Freedom of Information requests.

The Bank of England reported that 445 million paper banknotes were still in circulation:

  • 111 million £5 notes
  • 65 million £10 notes
  • 198 million £20 notes
  • 70 million £50 notes

Paper £5 notes were phased out in May 2017, while paper £10 notes were phased out in March 2018.

In addition to the paper money, the Royal Mint said that around 87 million old-style £1 coins had not been retrieved. However, around 18 million had been retrieved in the last year.

Approximately 1.8 million of the 1.6 billion retrieved were counterfeit. In October 2017, the round £1 coin was replaced with the 12-sided variant. This vintage coin can still be deposited at the Post Office but not spent.

The Royal Mint reports that around 138 million round £1 coins have been melted down to generate new ones. The polymer £50 note with Alan Turing’s picture went into circulation on 23 June 2021.

Bank of England spokesperson: Banknotes maintain face value

According to a Bank of England spokesperson, “all genuine” banknotes that have been removed from circulation maintain their face value. They can be returned to banks and some Post Offices, but only up to £300 will be exchanged in the latter.

Old notes can be taken there in person as well, although the bank cautions against “long wait times.” Cash usage declined substantially during the coronavirus outbreak since lockdowns limited spending alternatives. This hastened the decline in the usage of paper money and coins.


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