Home Old Round Pounds and Bank Notes

Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Sam Rose

Can You Still Swap Old Round Pounds and Bank Notes?

It’s been almost 5 months now since the £10 plastic note was introduced. But did you know that you can still swap your old round pounds and bank notes for more up to date currency?

If you’ve rifled through your wallet or purse recently, you might have come across some old round pounds and bank notes. Whilst you now can’t spend these, you can instead exchange them using several different methods.

The Bank of England

The Bank of England have made an open-ended promise to exchange older bank notes for new ones at their face value since the new currency was introduced. However, they unfortunately are unable to exchange old round pounds. If you live in London, you can take your old currency to their official building on Threadneedle Street between 9am and 4pm. To exchange your notes at the counter, you’ll need original Photo ID and proof of address if it’s on behalf of a business. You’ll also require an original letter of authority which includes your name and is signed by someone who represents your company.

Otherwise, if you live outside of London, the Bank of England will let you send any old bank notes via post too. For this, you’ll need to complete a postal exchange form suitable for an individual or business. The form and your old bank notes will also need to be accompanied by a piece of photo ID and a proof of address for verification purposes. This should then be sent to: Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

Local Bank Branches and The Post Office

Post Office Old Round Pounds and Bank Notes

If you are a customer of selected banks, you can also take old currency to your local branch for an exchange. Be sure to double check beforehand however, as some banks are unable to offer this service. Banks which will still accept old notes and coins for exchange at current are:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
  • NatWest
  • Santander
  • Barclays
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Nationwide Building Society

These banks will allow you to either swap for updated currency or deposit out of circulation coins or notes into your account. For exchanges, you’ll need to put any of your old currency into a cash bag or plastic wallet issued usually by the bank. If you’d prefer to take your old coins or notes to your local Post Office, then you can directly deposit them into your bank account at any of their 11,500 branches too. Due to an agreement with all UK high street banks, anyone can deposit cash, coins and cheques, including older ones, straight into their usual bank account using their local Post Office branch.

What Happens to Old Round Pounds and Bank Notes?

If you choose to exchange your older coins and notes for newer ones, you might be wondering where they end up. For older coins, these are taken to the Royal Mint located in Wales and are loaded into large containers. Once they have been collected together, they are then tipped into giant furnaces and melted down. Any molten metal for these old coins are then used in the process to create the 12-sided £1 coin we use today.

For older notes, these would have been burned to heat the Bank of England building in the past. But since the Bank upgraded its equipment in the nineties, the process has since changed. Due to their commitment to recycling and sustainability, any old bank notes that have been exchanged are now recycled using a composting treatment. Since 2011, most of the waste from paper notes is given to farmers to use as a soil improver for their land and fields.

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