Legal tender status for some Northern Ireland notes ending
- Published: Feb 8, 2022, 9 AM
The unusual situation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, in which seven private banks issue paper currency in place of notes from a national bank, will have one less participant as of midnight June 30, 2022. At that moment, all currency issued by First Trust Bank will cease to be legal tender.
The bank, which changed its name to AIB Group on April 8, 2019, said, “The decision to cease issuing our own banknotes was a commercial decision which took into account the increasing use of digital payment methods and mobile technology.”
It explained that it will continue to handle all other bank notes used in the United Kingdom — those of the Bank of England, as well as the ones from Scotland’s Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, and The Royal Bank of Scotland, and of the three remaining Northern Irish ones, Bank of Ireland, Northern Bank Limited (trading as Danske Bank), and National Westminster Bank (trading as Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland).
After June 30, First Trust Bank notes can be exchanged, at face value with no charge, for Bank of England or other sterling bank notes of the same face value at any AIB branch in Northern Ireland. Any of the 11,500 post offices in the United Kingdom will exchange them for sterling bank notes for free until June 30, 2024. In the Republic of Ireland, where the euro is the official currency, they can be exchanged for Bank of England currency at any AIB branch until June 30, 2022.
Notes had been printed with the name of First Trust Bank since the 1990s.
Related old sterling “Allied Irish Banks p.l.c.,” “Allied Irish Banks Limited,” and “Provincial Bank of Ireland Limited” bank notes can also be exchanged under the same terms at AIB branches in Northern Ireland, at no cost and with no time limit.
The bank said that it remains fully committed to Northern Ireland and the wider Northern Irish economy.
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