Legal Tender & the old £5 Note
From 5 May 2017, the old paper £5 note will no longer be legal tender and may not be accepted in shops and could be refused by banks.
After this date retailers and banks need only accept or swap old notes at their own discretion.
The new ‘plastic’ notes are already widely in circulation, but many businesses may find that they have the older cotton paper notes lingering in petty cash pots or, if the business is cash reliant, stored in a safe.
In fact, there are still believed to be around 165 million old notes still in circulation – or nearly three for every person in Britain – so it is worth checking if a business holds any.
According to the Bank of England, all withdrawn banknotes “remain payable at face value for all time”, so if after this date you still hold old banknotes they can be replaced with their new equivalent via the post through the Bank itself.
This year will also see the launch of the new 12-sided £1 coin in March and a new polymer £10 note in the summer; so much of the UK’s hard currency is set to change this year, while 2020 will see the introduction of a new £20.
The new notes are meant to feature better security against forgeries and thanks to its new polymer material, will last far longer than the ones being replaced