£18.9bn worth of paper banknotes and round pounds remain in circulation, with over 113 million of these being £5 notes! Despite it being nearly five years since the paper £5 note lost its legal tender status*, it seems people are holding on them.
In fact, you might just have one in your pocket/wallet/down the back of the sofa right now!
Whilst the paper £10 and £5 notes have been withdrawn from circulation, the £20 and £50 paper banknotes will hold their legal tender status until 30 September 2022.
According to the Bank of England, 775 million paper banknotes remain in circulation:
- Paper £5 notes in circulation: 113 million
- Paper £10 notes in circulation: 73 million
- Paper £20 notes in circulation: 360 million
- Paper £50 notes in circulation: 209 million
That’s a lot of banknotes!
*Whilst the paper £5 and £20 notes are no longer legal tender, they will always be exchanged by the Bank of England for their face value.
There are also supposedly £105m of old round pound coins in circulation, according to the Royal Mint.
After more than 30 years in the nation’s pockets, the familiar round £1 coin was replaced with an all new, 12-sided £1 coin in 2017, in a bid to crack down on counterfeiting.
It lost its legal tender status at midnight on 15 October 2017 and the Royal Mint asked the public to return their round pounds as they phased in the new 12-sided coin.
However, out of 1.6 billion round pounds to be returned, about 1.45 million were counterfeits!
The UK’s 12-sided £1 coin is described by the Royal Mint as the ‘most secure in the world’, with a string of anti-counterfeiting details. Find out more about the security details of this coin here!
Round pounds can still be deposited at high street banks – but can no longer be spent in shops.
Have you held on to your round pounds or paper notes? Let us know in the comments below!
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