Banknote statistics

We publish annual statistics on the number of banknotes in circulation, how many notes we issue, how many are destroyed and the number of claims we receive for damaged notes.
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Number of banknotes in circulation (millions of notes at end-Feb)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2014 308 718 1,824 221 3,071
2015 320 737 1,946 236 3,239
2016 329 777 2,052 263 3,421
2017 382 801 2,168 312 3,663
2018 382  779  2135  330  3626 

 

Value of banknotes in circulation (£ millions at end-Feb)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total1 Other notes2
2014 1,540 7,182 36,483 11,025 56,230 3,967
2015 1,601 7,371 38,912 11,788 59,671 4,118
2016 1,645 7,767 41,037 13,157 63,606 4,212
2017 1,912 8,006 43,357 15,601 68,876 4,322
2018  1,910  7,789  42,692  16,508  68,899  4,351  

1 Total is the sum of £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes excluding all other notes. See below.
2 Higher value notes used as cover for the note issues of banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland

 

Number of banknotes produced (millions of notes)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2013/14 232 250 380 90 952
2014/15 221 210 340 72 843
2015/16 256 274 144 0 674
2016/17 349 555 8 0 912
2017/18  1,104  200  1,304 

 

Number of banknotes issued (millions of notes)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2013/14 159 214 264 45 682
2014/15 174 243 310 43 770
2015/16 195 568 253 37 1,053
2016/17 329 401 319 64 1,112
2017/18  77  819  165  43  1,104 

 

Value of banknotes issued (£ millions)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2013/14 793 2,141 5,281 2,260 10,474
2014/15 869 2,433 6,202 2,165 11,668
2015/16 977 5,683 5,056 1,831 13,547
2016/17 1,643 4,008 6,382 3,188 15,220
2017/18  386  8,192  3,291  2,169  14,039 

 

Number of banknotes destroyed (millions of notes)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2013/14 185 281 191 37 695
2014/15 200 235 192 35 662
2015/16 179 525 177 10 891
2016/17 302 406 169 10 886
2017/18  238  778  174  10  1,201 

 

Value of banknotes destroyed (£ millions)

£5 £10 £20 £50 Total
2013/14 927 2,811 3,821 1,874 9,432
2014/15 1,001 2,351 3,848 1,739 8,939
2015/16 893 5,250 3,547 481 10,172
2016/17 1,509 4,058 3,371 484 9,422
2017/18  1,192  7,785  3,474  506  12,956 

 

Number of claims for damaged banknotes

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Torn/part notes 12,619 11,328 10,671 10,471 11,557 
Chewed/eaten 5,815 5,703 5,364 5,094 4,826 
Washed 2,072 1,967 1,801 1,809 2,065 
Contaminated 2,727 2,962 2,912 2,565 2,361 
Fire/flood damaged 1,182 1,133 997 1,239 1,785 
Total 24,415 23,093 21,745 21,178 22,594 

 

Value of claims for damaged banknotes

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Torn/part notes £2,423 £2,337 £1,871 £1,853 £3,612 
Chewed/eaten £124 £127 £128 £123 £134 
Washed £66 £57 £61 £68 £76 
Contaminated £9,400 £7,306 £8,653 £8,353 £5,884 
Fire/flood damaged £544 £1,051 £543 £3,466 £768 
Total £12,557 £10,878 £11,256 £13,863 £10,474 

 

Number and notional value of counterfeits discovered (rounded to the nearest 1,000)

Year £5 £10 £20 £50 Total Notional Value (£ millions)* Number removed before entering circulation (bulk seizures)
2013 5,000 248,000 435,000 16,000 704,000 12.01 8,000
2014 2,000 96,000 327,000 15,000 440,000 8.26 0
2015 1,000 53,000 173,000 23,000 250,000 5.15 0
2016 2,000 23,000 302,000 27,000 354,000 7.63 6,000
2017 1,000  43,000  393,000  32,000  469,000  9.90  0

 

Data include counterfeits of both current and old series notes.  For £5 in 2017, these were principally discoveries of counterfeits of paper banknotes which are no longer legal tender.

Notional value* of counterfeits discovered (£ millions, rounded to nearest £1,000)

Year £5 £10 £20 £50 Total (£ millions)
2013 £0.03 £2.48 £8.70 £0.80 £12.01
2014 £0.01 £0.96 £6.54 £0.75 £8.26
2015 £0.01 £0.53 £3.46 £1.15 £5.15
2016 £0.01 £0.23 £6.04 £1.35 £7.63
2017 £0.01  £0.43 £7.86 £1.60 £9.90

*Counterfeit banknotes are worthless.

Data include counterfeits of both current and old series notes.  For £5 in 2017, these were principally discoveries of counterfeits of paper banknotes which are no longer legal tender
This page was last updated 17 May 2018
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