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Changing old £5 notes

I have around £30 worth of old fivers, but I won’t be in London with access to the Bank of England till the end of my vacation. I seem to remember a thread mentioning that the Post Office might exchange the old fives for new ones. Has anyone tried to do that recently, particularly in Bath? Or has anyone had success changing old fives in a bank that’s not the Bank of England (without being an account holder at that bank)?

If you've changed the old fivers at the Bank of England, can you tell me what the process was?

Posted by
2424 posts

you can ask at a post office or high street bank - no harm in trying

otherwise you turn up at the front door of the Bank of England, security will ask you your business and ask to see the old notes. They'll then allow you inside where there will be a bag check.

If there is more than one of you, only one person is allowed into the banking hall, where you go to to a counter to exchange the notes. You'll get brand new consecutively numbered notes.

If you have time visit the (free) Bank of England Museum, which is around the corner. Lift the gold bar.

Posted by
5246 posts

... and this year be careful not to stock up on paper tenners.

The new polymer £10 note will be issued by the Bank of England on 14 September. The old (ie current) ones will be withdrawn on a yet to be precisely specified date in Spring 2018.

Posted by
6160 posts

The Bank of England website lays it out. Looks pretty simple if you can get to Threadneedle Street. Otherwise not at all simple for us Yankees who took each other's advice to bring home unused currency for the next trip. I've got one fiver and 16 "round pound" coins left over from last year, plus a few tenners that will turn to pumpkins (elsewhere than Threadneedle) some time next spring.

I'm hoping the tenners will still be good when we're at Heathrow for a few hours next April so I can spend them. I'll probably drop the fiver and old coins into an Oxfam bucket or some such. My understanding is that ordinary ("High Street") banks will accept them for deposit into accounts, so some good will come of my hoarding folly.

Good luck with yours! ;-)

Posted by
2424 posts

Somehow ended up with an old £5 note in my change - popped into Barclays this morning (not an account holder) exchanged for a new one without a problem.

Posted by
14110 posts

Here's what happened when I went to the Bank of England.

I was asked at the door why I was there. I said to exchange some old notes. He said they didn't do that there. I looked confused. He said he was just kidding and pointed me in the direction of the tellers. I went up to a teller--it wasn't busy--handed him the old notes and he gave me new ones.

I didn't have to show my old notes to the guard and there was no one stopping people from entering the teller area. This was a few months ago.

When I leave the UK in a few weeks, I will change my old notes for new ones before I leave. The same for pound coins.

I recently found an old fiver. But since it will almost cost me that in tube fair to go exchange it, I'll just keep the note as a souvenir.

Posted by
5804 posts

I wish I only had a stray £5. I've got about £200 worth of £5 and an equal amount of £10 notes. Heading over later this year to exchange all of them.

Posted by
4315 posts

Last trip we had an old 20 (?) pound note left over from a prior trip. Went to a small bank (not Bank of England) in a small town and politely asked what could be done. Since there was only the one note they very graciously swapped it out for me. Just another possibility to consider.

Posted by
894 posts

For what it's worth, yesterday when I went to the Post Office in Bath to mail something, I asked about changing the fivers. The girl said she wasn't allowed to do that anymore, but then thought for a minute and asked how I got them. I told her they were left over from prior trips to the UK. She half-whispered, "Okay, give them to me." And she gave me spendable notes and told me not to tell anyone she'd done that (so now, of course, I'm telling all of you!). Going to the Bank of England would have been an interesting experience, but I now have a nice little memory of the girl who helped me at the Post Office.

Posted by
615 posts

I was told in June at the Post Office that it was too late to exchange them. I asked my London friend and she said I might as well put it in my journal as a piece of ephemera, which I did. :)

Posted by
1186 posts

I had money from 2005 and went to Barclay's bank and had no issues whatsoever. They exchanged my money no questions asked and it took all of a few minutes. I found a Barclays right in the town of Stow on the Wold. But there was a Barclays near my hotel in London, which was right next to the Bayswater tube station. I just never had time to go to that branch. I just did this about 2 weeks ago.

So go to Barclays and you don't need an account or anything. Just hand the teller your notes and ask the teller to replace it with new notes.