Paper Money

Currency changes underway in England, Spain

The Bank of England’s old paper £20 and £50 notes will be demonetized in September 2022.

Images courtesy of Bank of England.

The Bank of England on June 23 reported that the new £50 bank note with World War II codebreaker, mathematician, computer scientist and biologist Alan Turing is now becoming available at bank branches and ATM’s, and with that, England’s transition from paper currency to polymer is complete.

In the same statement it gave a warning that two other notes, the paper £20 note with economist Adam Smith and the old £50 note portraying entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and the engineer James Watt, will be demonetized on Sept. 30, 2022. The bank advised that since these will no longer be legal tender in 15 months, people should either spend them or deposit them in their bank accounts before then. They will also be accepted at post offices, and by mail with the Bank of England itself. Those choosing the latter option should be aware that there are different bank note exchange application forms to fill out on the bank’s website depending on whether you are a business or an individual.

Two days earlier, on June 21, Banco de España (the Bank of Spain) extended the deadline for exchanging its old bank notes and coins denominated in pesetas to June 30, 2021 at any of the bank’s 16 offices throughout the country. The original deadline was extended by six months because of COVID-19. The bank advised that, as of June 23, it was no longer necessary to make an appointment to visit a bank. Until then, appointments were needed to comply with pandemic-related security measures that health authorities recommended.

The exchange rate was given as 1 euro for 166.386 pesetas. The age or condition of the bank notes and coins would not be taken into consideration. As a rule, all bank notes issued after 1939 could be exchanged. Bank notes issued between 1936 and 1939 could also be exchanged after analysis by Banco de España experts. Only bank notes with a surface area equal to or greater than 50% of the entire note were eligible for exchange.

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