WellTax Blog

The old £10 note: £2bn worth must be spent in a few days

February 16, 2018

You have until 1 March to get rid of old tenners before they are no longer legal tender – so what are your options?

There is still £2.2bn worth of the old-style paper £10 notes in circulation – but you have just 12 days left to spend them before they lose their status as legal tender on Thursday 1 March.

In Scotland, it’s not just the old paper £10 note that ceases to be legal tender on 1 March, but also the paper £5 note. In England, the paper £5 note stopped being accepted in shops in May last year. Between now and 1 March the old notes can be used freely in stores, and you may even still be given them at cash machines. When shops and stores stop taking the old notes, it does not mean that if you unearth some on 1 March they are obsolete. You should still be able to exchange them at post offices or local banks, although they are not under a legal obligation to do so.

You always have the option of posting old notes to the Bank of England or visiting it in person at Threadneedle Street in the City of London, and it will exchange your old notes for new ones. The Bank has an open-ended promise to exchange old notes at face value at any time.

The Bank says returns of old tenners are running at around £85m a week. “It is broadly in line with forecasts. We saw a similar trend to paper £5 returns but don’t expect all notes to be returned as some will have been destroyed, gone overseas or kept as memorabilia,” it adds.

Since the paper £5 note was withdrawn in May, the Bank says it has exchanged notes for 46,000 customers – of which 27,000 visited Threadneedle Street in person.

Some people may want to keep old notes in the hope that they may have some rarity value in future. But auctioneers say that most old bank notes are generally worth no more than their face value. An eBay auction of two uncirculated £10 notes from 1971, featuring a noticeably younger Queen Elizabeth, earned its seller £59.26. But that’s much less than the rate of inflation; £10 in 1971 is equal to £134 today.

Few of the tenners withdrawn from circulation have turned out to be forgeries. “For 2017, just 0.0054% of all £10 notes were found to be counterfeit, and much less for the £5 at 0.0002%,”says the Bank.

Article from ‘The Guardian’

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