The pound sterling is slowly making the transition from paper to polymer. The first polymer note was the £5 note which was introduced in September 2016. The new £10 note was introduced in September 2017. In addition, the Bank of England has announced that the polymer £20 note will begin circulating sometime in 2020.
A year after polymer £10’s introduction
A year has now passed since the £10 note began circulating. The paper notes were officially taken out of circulation in March 2018. The new note changed in both material and design – it now features the world-renowned novelist Jane Austen. The release year of the note coincides with the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death. 200 years later, Austen’s novels are still popularly read and studied as literary treasures across the world.
For any Canadians with Old Notes
Since being removed from circulation, most places no longer accept the old paper notes, including most banks. Continental is one of the few places you can still bring your paper £10 notes. However, we offer exchange services only at a discounted rate since we can’t sell the notes back to other customers.
The Bank of England will accept old notes in person or by post. However, if you’re mailing old notes, you must have a U.K. bank account for the funds to be transferred to – they will not mail you the new notes overseas.
Sarah at our Oshawa branch says that one of the best options people have is “holding onto the old notes if you’re going back to England and exchanging them at the bank there” since they will simply swap out your old notes for new ones. However, for anyone not heading across the pond anytime soon, Continental is a great option for getting your cash back. Sarah went on to say “we still see quite a few old notes coming through.” So, while the old notes are officially out of circulation, the phasing out process is still well underway.
Polymer notes are harder to counterfeit, more durable and longer-lasting, and better for the environment!
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