Number of paper Bank of England £5, £10, £20 and £50 banknotes returned or still in circulation as at 2 July 2021

Freedom of Information rules mean that, as a public authority, the Bank of England is obliged to disclose certain types of information, both proactively and on request.

Date: 26 July 2021

Disclosure

The table below shows the number and value of Bank of England £5, £10, £20 and £50 paper banknotes (all series) which have been returned and are still in circulation since the issue of the respective polymer banknotes as at 2 July 2021:

Number of banknotes returned (millions) Number of banknotes in circulation (millions) Value of returned banknotes (£millions) Value of banknotes in circulation (£millions)
£5 paper banknotes returned since 13 September 2016* 229 114 1,143 570
£10 paper banknotes returned since 14 September 2017* 715 76 7,149 761
£20 paper banknotes returned since 20 February 2020* 1,333 510 26,656 10,202
£50 paper banknotes returned since 23 June 2021* 5 341 269 17,060
Total 2,282 1,041 35,217 28,593

* Date the polymer banknote was issued

The paper £20F series and the paper £50F series will no longer be legal tender after 30 September 2022.

All genuine Bank of England banknotes that have been withdrawn from circulation retain their face value for all time. There is no expiry on the period in which we will exchange old banknotes.

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