Exchanging old banknotes

You can exchange withdrawn Bank of England banknotes by post or at our counter in Threadneedle Street. Your own bank may also provide this service.

How to exchange banknotes

  • Exchanging banknotes in person

    The Bank of England counter can have long queues and waiting times maybe up to an hour. Unless you require the banknotes immediately we would suggest sending your banknotes via post.

    Our counter at Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. It is closed at the weekend and on bank holidays.

    You may need to provide two original identity (ID) documents (one photo ID and one proof of address) for any exchange (mandatory for any exchange of  £1,000 or more). To check what we accept please see ‘Identification we accept’ below.

    Before the exchange is completed you may be asked to provide more information or evidence to support the origin of the banknotes. If the money forms part of an estate, you need to provide copies of death certificates, wills or grant of probate certificates.

    We will give you new banknotes or pay the money into your bank account (normally within ten working days). Please note we can only pay into accounts that accept payment in sterling (GBP). We do not charge for this service, however your bank or their intermediaries may charge you.

    If you are exchanging the banknotes on behalf of someone else, 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. You need to provide two forms of ID for both you and the owner of the notes.

    If you are exchanging banknotes on behalf of 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.

    Accessibility

    There are steps at our front entrance on Threadneedle Street so we have a lift. If you need to use it, please press the blue button (with a symbol of a wheelchair on) next to the steps. It’s on the bottom left handrail at wheelchair level.

    A portable writing table (eazydesk) is available for wheelchair users. Please ask a member of staff if you would like to use it.

    An induction loop is available at the counter.

  • Exchanging banknotes by post

    Be aware the banknotes are sent at your own risk. So please take appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft.

    Please complete a postal exchange form for individuals or businesses (available below). Send it with your banknote(s) and photocopies of ID (one photo ID and one proof of address) for any exchange (mandatory for any exchange of £1,000 or more) to Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH. To check what we accept please see ‘Identification we accept’ below.

    We can pay your money into 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 do not send banknotes overseas.

    For payments to an overseas bank account, please provide the BIC/SWIFT Code and IBAN number. Please note we can only pay into accounts that accept sterling (GBP). We do not charge for this service, however your bank or their intermediaries may charge you.

    If we are unable to make an electronic payment, we will send a sterling cheque payable to you. We will always cash the cheque if presented at the Bank of England counter. Please give us 24 hours notice if you wish to cash the cheque at our counter.

    If you are an individual

    To exchange your banknotes by post, please fill out the banknote exchanges application form and send it to us with the banknotes along with copies of your photo ID and proof of address.

    If you are a business

    To exchange your banknotes by post, please 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.
  • Identification we accept

    We accept the following identity documents:
    • 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 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

    We may keep your banknotes to carry out additional checks if we need to.

    You may need 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 working 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 more information please contact us by email at exchanges@bankofengland.co.uk or telephone 0203 461 5994 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm).
This page was last updated 06 August 2018
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