Check your wallets

Check your wallets, not just because Gordy is still in power and an election is coming up, but because £20 notes bearing the face of Edward Elgar will cease to become legal tender on July 1st.

This means that shops are no longer forced to accept the notes and it is up to banks whether they agree to swap notes after this date.

As from July 1st, only notes with the image of Adam Smith, the Scottish economist, will be legal tender. These notes came into circulation in March 2007.

About 10 per cent of all £20 notes in circulation are the old versions featuring the English composer. They were introduced in June 1999 along with a view of the west face of Worcester Cathedral, replacing the previous series of notes featuring Michael Faraday, the physicist, and before that William Shakespeare.

The Adam Smith was designed to help cut down on forgeries and the new £20 notes include more of the printed words raised and a greater number of flecks that show bright red and green under an ultraviolet light.

The old notes will eventually be sent to one of the official Government incinerators, where they will burned alongside damaged notes.
After June 30th if a bank or building society refuses to swap a note then consumers have the right to swap the notes at the Bank of England itself. The Bank promises that it will honour the face value of any note issued, even notes from before the Second World War.

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