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Home > Banknotes > Damaged and Mutilated Banknotes

Damaged and Mutilated Banknotes

If you have a damaged or mutilated banknote read the following information before completing the application form available by following the link at the bottom of this page.  For all coin enquiries please contact The Royal Mint on 01443 222 111.

Application Form
All claimants must complete a Mutilated Notes Claim form (FORM BEMN - see below) and send this together with all banknote remains by post to the Bank of England in Leeds (the address is shown on the form and below). Please note that applications in person are not acceptable. However, in those cases where the damage or contamination is of such a nature that sending by post is impracticable or could contravene rules regarding the sending of items by post, applicants should contact the Bank of England in Leeds.

Assessment of Claims
The Bank will give reasonable consideration to claims made in respect of banknotes which have been damaged accidentally. In making our assessment we take into account a number of factors. A key consideration for the Bank is that we should not knowingly pay out twice on the same banknote. Therefore, as a general rule, there should be physical evidence of at least half a banknote before payment can be made although an explanation of how damage has occurred to the banknote will be taken into account. If the Bank receives an application where less than half a banknote has been submitted and the Bank is unable to reasonably ascertain whether a larger portion of the banknote still exists, it is unlikely that payment will be made.

In limited cases where few or no physical banknote remains are available to assess, but there is clear auditable evidence that genuine notes have been damaged/destroyed, it may still be possible to make a claim. Please phone (0113 236 6825) or email ( for a copy of the guidelines for audit-backed claims.

All successful applications are reimbursed wherever possible by electronic payment direct to the applicants bank account. In cases where applicants do not have a bank account, there is a section on the application form where an alternative account holder can be named.

Contaminated Notes
Banknotes which are stated to have been in contact with asbestos, or have been in contact with a bio-hazard, or any other noxious substance, including hazardous chemicals, should be sent to the Mutilated Notes Dept for consideration of payment. Please note; customers must telephone the Bank of England in Leeds (Tel. No. 0113 241 0075) to give advance notice of any contaminated banknote delivery.
Banknotes that have been affected by dye-stain/smoke-dye from anti-theft security devices, ninhydrin (fingerprint chemical), or controlled drugs should also be submitted to the Bank of England in Leeds.
All claimants must complete a Mutilated Notes claim form (FORM BEMN – please see PDF file at the bottom of this page) and send together with the banknotes.

Please ensure FORM BEMN is placed in an envelope inside the bag/pouch to avoid any cross-contamination.

General Information
The Bank of England’s Mutilated Note service exists to reimburse members of the public with the face value of any damaged, mutilated or contaminated Bank of England banknotes, providing there are sufficient fragments or remains. As a general rule there should be evidence of at least half a banknote. The Bank currently receives around 23,000 individual applications per year, totaling around £11 million. Despite the high volumes the majority of claims are assessed within a few days.

The list of ways in which banknotes become damaged is almost endless – from those accidentally put through a washing machine to those chewed by the family pet. Banknotes hidden for safe keeping can often be overlooked. Those concealed in places such as ovens or microwaves run the risk of burning whilst banknotes hidden under floorboards or in gardens become damp and eventually decay.

Claims and enquiries about damaged and mutilated Bank of England banknotes should be addressed to:-

The Manager, Dept MN,
Bank of England,
King Street,
Tel no. 0113 241 0075