Just One Week To Spend Your Old £10 notes

The old £10 note features an image of Charles Darwin (Bank of England)

More than £2 billion worth of old-style £10 notes remain in circulation, with a week to go until they are no longer accepted in UK shops.

The Bank of England said the withdrawal rate is ‘broadly as expected’ ahead of the 1st March deadline, at which point the paper £10 note will cease to be legal tender – replaced completely by the polymer version.

Anyone with the old notes beyond this point will still be able to exchange them for the new equivalent at the Bank of England.

The Jane Austen polymer note was launched last September as an update on the old version featuring Charles Darwin.

According to the latest figures, the value of paper £10 notes in circulation is around £2.182 billion – the equivalent of around 218 million paper £10 notes. This means that paper £10 notes represent around 27% of £10s in circulation. Currently, weekly returns of paper tenners are averaging a value £85 million.

What happens after 1st March?

Shops will no longer accept the old £10 notes after 1 March. You will only be able to use the new polymer tenner. The Bank of England made the decision to replace the paper notes with polymer ones because they are cleaner, stronger and have enhanced security features.

So how can I get rid of mine?

Either spend it by 1 March or exchange it at the Bank of England. You can do this in person or by post but you will need to fill in an exchange form for the latter. The Bank will either pay the money into your account (within 10 working days) or give you new banknotes in return.

If you have less than £1,000 worth of £10 notes, you won’t need ID to exchange but you may be asked for a form of identification and proof of address if you have managed to rack up more than a grand’s worth. There is no deadline for exchanging your old £10 notes at the Bank of England. You can try exchanging the notes at your local bank or post office but they are not legally required to accept it after the 1 March deadline.

What will happen to the old £10 notes?

Your old tenners will be recycled using a composting treatment with the waste product used as an agricultural soil improver. However the Bank of England reckons not all the £10 notes in circulation will be handed in – some will be overseas and some will kept as memorabilia.

Why has Darwin been replaced by Austen?

The decision to replace Charles Darwin with Jane Austen followed a campaign and review of the representation of women on bank notes. The new Austen notes have been in circulation since 14 September 2017. They have features to help blind and partially-sighted people.



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