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Deadline approaches for spending paper £5 Bank of England notes

Around 150 million of the notes are still in circulation.

People have until the end of the day on Friday to spend old paper £5 Bank of England notes in shops before they lose their legal tender status.

May 5 marks the last day that the banknote featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry will be legal tender. Around 150 million of the notes are still in circulation.

After this date, shops no longer have to accept them as payment.

The Bank said some banks and building societies may continue to accept the old fiver after May 5 – but this is at their own discretion so people may want to check their bank or building society’s policy.

Several major banks and building societies have said that customers can continue to deposit old fivers after May 5. But some said it was a good idea for people to give themselves time to hand in old fivers rather than leaving it until after they have lost their legal tender status.

The Post Office said its branches will accept the notes as a deposit into any main UK bank account after the May 5 deadline.

Martin Kearsley, banking director, Post Office, said “We offer free cash withdrawal and deposit services for customers of all main UK banks …

“We’d like to reassure people that there’s no end date to depositing paper £5 notes into bank accounts at local Post Office branches, we will still accept them after the 5th of May deadline.”

The Bank of England will continue to exchange the old £5 notes for all time, as it would for any other Bank note which no longer has legal tender status.

Old paper fivers and the new £5 note have co-existed since the polymer banknote was first issued by the Bank in September 2016.

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