Old paper £10 notes will cease to be legal tender in ONE week

The old paper £10 note featuring Charles Darwin will expire in just one weeks' time.

Figures from the Bank of England suggest that there is still £2.2bn worth of the old paper £10 notes in circulation, representing around 27pc of the total number of notes issued.

From midnight on March 1, only the polymer £10 notes featuring Jane Austen, introduced in September, will be legal tender.

However, while the old notes will not be accepted in shops and other businesses from March 1, it will still be possible for Charles Darwin notes to be exchanged at the Bank of England for free, either by post or in person.

While some retailers, banks and building societies may still accept the old notes after the deadline, it is at their discretion so ring ahead to check their guidelines before making the trip to your local branch.

Paper bank notes – £5, £10 and £20 – are gradually being replaced by plastic notes, which are more secure and harder to counterfeit, more resistant to dirt and more durable. 

The paper fiver is no longer legal tender, and the old £10 note will be withdrawn soon. The new polymer £20 banknote will be issued in 2020, with the portrait of J.M.W Turner printed on it. The Bank has not confirmed whether the £50 note, featuring Boulton and Watt, will be replaced.

The plastic £10 note featuring English novelist Austen attracted some criticism when it was released, because the quote printed on the note is spoken by Miss Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, in which she exclaims: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment but reading!" 

Use of this particular quote caused controversy as it isn't spoken by Austen, but by one her most obnoxious characters, a woman who doesn't actually like reading books at all.

The new £10 note is around 15pc smaller than the old one and is the first English banknote to be printed with a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner to help blind and partially sighted users. 

The new £10 is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than its paper predecessor – around five years in total.

Recent analysis by M&G Investments found that savers who have held a Charles Darwin £10 note in a piggy bank since November 2000 would have seen inflation erode its value to just £6.17 in real terms today.

M&G's Ritu Vohora said: "With prices rising at 3pc per year today, the value of the new Jane Austen £10 note is eroding even faster."


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