If you’ve got any £20 notes featuring a picture of the English composer Edward Elgar on the back, then you need to spend them before the end of June, when they will cease to be legal tender.
The Bank of England has decided to take all of the Elgar £20 notes out of circulation, and from 1st July, shops will not have to accept them – the only valid £20 note will be the one featuring the economist Adam Smith. There are around 150 million Elgar notes currently in circulation, out of a total of 1.5billion £20 notes.
You should be able to swap your Elgar notes at a bank or building society after 30th June, but if they refuse, you can go direct to the Bank of England to claim a new note. The Bank actually promises to honour the value of any note issued, even notes printed before World War 2.
The notes are being changed in order to cut down on the number of forgeries – the new Adam Smith notes have a design which is harder to copy. They were originally introduced in 1999 but began to be phased out in 2007.
On a personal note it’s a little sad to see a fellow Wolves fan disappear from the notes – perhaps we should start a campaign to get another Wolves-supporting music star, Robert Plant, on a future bank note. He probably owns enough of them.
photo credit: mtop6867
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