The Bank of England (BoE) has been encouraging those who still have old notes to spend them ahead of the deadline. It estimates that 150 million paper £5 notes are still with the general public.
After 5 May, retailers are no longer obliged to accept old paper £5 notes as a form of payment. Some banks and building societies may accept old notes after the deadline: however, this is at the bank’s own discretion. Many banks will allow customers to exchange them.
Commenting on the issue, a spokesperson for RBS said: ‘After the note goes out of circulation, customers will still be able to bring in their old £5 notes for exchange at one of our branches.’
Similarly, a spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group said: ‘We’ll continue to accept them from our customers, either exchanging them for the new polymer note or depositing it into their account, whichever they prefer.’
The BoE has stated that it will be exchanging old £5 notes for new ones ‘for all time’.
The new polymer £10 note will be introduced from September. The Bank will issue the new £20 note by 2020.