Don’t panic, but you only have one week left to use your old paper fivers

The old five pound notes will soon be out of circulation.
The old five pound notes will soon be out of circulation.
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People have just a week left to spend or bank the 155 million paper Bank of England fivers still in circulation before they lose their legal tender status.

Friday, May 5 marks the last day that the banknote featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry will be legal tender.

The new five pound notes

The new five pound notes

People will be able to spend the “Fry fivers” in shops until the end of the day on Friday next week.

After that, the new polymer banknote featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be the only Bank of England £5 note with legal tender status.

Some banks and building societies may still accept paper £5 notes after May 5, but this is at their own discretion.

The Bank of England will continue to exchange the old £5 notes for all time, as it would for any other Bank note which no longer has legal tender status.

The old paper fiver and the new £5 note have co-existed since the polymer banknote was first issued by the Bank in September 2016.

The new Bank of England fiver is stronger than its predecessor and boasts new security features making it harder to counterfeit.