Exchanging old banknotes

You can exchange Bank of England banknotes which have been withdrawn from circulation in person or by post.

We do not exchange coins. Please contact the Royal Mint, which is the only coin issuer in the UK, if you have any queries about sterling coins.

Exchanging banknotes in person

You can exchange your old banknotes in person at our counter at Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH. The counter is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. It is closed on weekends and bank holidays.

We can either pay your money into a bank account (normally within ten working days) or give you new banknotes. We will need you to provide us with a BIC/SWIFT Code and IBAN number to make a transfer to an overseas account.

If the money you are exchanging belongs to you and you are exchanging banknotes worth £999 or less, you may not need to bring any form of identification. 

If the money belongs to someone else and you are exchanging banknotes worth £999 or less, you need to provide us with an original signed letter of authority from the owner, naming you and stating how they would like to be paid. We may ask you to provide a further form of ID.

If the value is £1,000 or more and it belongs to you, you need to bring original photo ID and proof of address.

If the value is £1,000 or more and it belongs to someone else, as well as your ID we will also require:

  1. An original signed letter of authority from the owner, naming you and stating how they would like to be paid.
  2. A copy of the owner’s photo ID and proof of address.

If the money you are exchanging belongs to a business, you need to bring the following with you:

  1. Original photo ID and proof of address for you.
  2. An original letter of authority naming you and signed by a representative of the company on headed paper. The letter must contain the following:
    - the company name
    - registered company number
    - registered office in country of incorporation
    - preferred payment type.
  3. A copy of photo ID and proof of address for the representative who signed the letter.

Exchanging banknotes by post

You can post withdrawn banknotes to us for exchange. They are sent at your own risk, so please make sure you take appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft.

Please send your banknote(s), completed form and copies of ID to Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

We can either pay you direct to a bank account (normally within ten working days), by cheque or, if you live in the UK and your exchange is worth less than £50, in new banknotes. We will need you to provide us with a BIC/SWIFT Code and IBAN number to make a transfer to an overseas account.

If you are an individual

To exchange your banknotes by post, fill out the banknote exchanges application form and send it to us along with the banknotes.

If your old banknotes are worth £1,000 or more (or cumulatively over £1,000), you will also need to send us a copy of your photo ID and proof of address.

PDFBanknote exchanges application form

If you are a business

To exchange your banknotes by post, fill out the business banknote exchanges application form and send it to us along with:

  1. A covering letter on headed company paper containing the following:
    - the company name
    - registered company number
    - registered office in country of incorporation
    - the full address for the business
    - preferred payment type – if this is a bank account, please provide the sort code and account number. 
  2. A copy of photo ID and proof of address for the person signing the covering letter.

PDFBusiness banknote exchanges application form

Acceptable forms of ID

We will accept the following as proof of ID:

  • valid passport
  • valid photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • national identity card (if you are a non-UK national)
  • firearm or shotgun certificate.

Acceptable proof of address

We will accept the following as proof of address:

  • valid photocard driving licence (full or provisional) – if you haven’t used this as proof of ID
  • electoral register entry 
  • utility bill or certificate from utility supplier (dated within the past six months)
  • Council Tax bill (dated within the past six months)
  • bank, building society or credit union statement or passbook (dated within the past six months)
  • most recent mortgage statement
  • local council rent card or tenancy agreement
  • benefits book or letter from the benefits agency (dated within the past six months)
  • telephone bill (excluding mobile phones, dated within the past six months)
  • credit card bill (dated within the past six months)
  • HM Revenue and Customs tax notification (dated within the past six months)
  • Jobcentre Plus letter confirming your National Insurance number.

Banknote exchange terms and conditions

At our discretion, we may retain your banknotes to carry out additional checks.

You may be required to provide ID for any exchange of any value, or to provide more information or evidence to support the origin of the banknotes.

If for any reason it is not possible to exchange a claim on the same day, we will issue you with a receipt and credit your bank account, typically within ten days. If you require cash, we will make an appointment for you to collect it.

If you are bringing €10,000 (or sterling equivalent) or more in banknotes into the UK from any non- EU country, these must be declared on entry to the UK.

Contact us

For further information please contact us by email at exchanges@bankofengland.co.uk or telephone 0203 461 5994 (Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm).

This page was last updated 13 November 2017
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