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Home > Banknotes > Current Banknotes

Current Banknotes

There are currently four different denominations of Bank of England notes in circulation.

The paper £5 will be withdrawn on 5 May 2017.  Find out more about the paper £5 withdrawal. 

The new polymer £5 note was issued in September 2016.  Find out more at

A new polymer £10 note will be issued in September 2017, and a new polymer £20 note by 2020.

On 18 July the Bank will mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, by unveiling the new £10 note featuring the renowned writer. The event will take place at Winchester Cathedral, where Austen was buried in 1817.

Denomination Note Series Character on back of note Date issued
Polymer £5 G Sir Winston Churchill 13.09.2016
Paper £5 E (variant) Elizabeth Fry 21.05.2002
Paper £10 E (variant) Charles Darwin 07.11.2000
Paper £20 F Adam Smith 13.03.2007
Paper £50 F Matthew Boulton and James Watt 02.11.2011

Click on any image below and learn more about the respective security and design features of each note.

Paper £5 features
£10 features £20 features
£50 features

Security features help you to identify genuine banknotes.  Take your time to check your notes, particularly if light conditions are poor or you are handling a large number of notes. Look for the security features described in these pages.
Look at the note, and feel the note. Do not rely on one single feature. If you have doubts, compare the note with one that you know to be genuine.
There are some counterfeit notes about. They are completely worthless. Don’t get caught out – protect yourself and check your banknotes when you receive them.

It is a criminal offence to keep or pass on a note that you know to be counterfeit.
If you have a note that you believe is a counterfeit you must take it to the police as soon as you can. They will provide you with a receipt and send the counterfeit to the Bank for analysis. If the note is genuine reimbursement will be made in full.

Key Resources

New Fiver leaflet (3.8MB)
A detailed easy-to-follow guide about the security features on the new polymer £5 note issued September 2016

English | Cymraeg
"take a closer look" Booklet (13MB)
An easy to follow guide about the security features on all current banknotes

English | Cymraeg