When does the old £5 note go out of circulation?

Hatty Collier
The old £5 notes expire on May 5: PA

British shoppers have just one month left to spend paper £5 notes before they lose their legal tender status, the Bank of England has warned.

From May 5, shops no longed have to accept the paper £5 note featuring prison reformer Elizabeth Fry as payment.

The new polymer banknote replacement featuring Winston Churchill was released into circulation in September last year.

The Bank of England said more than 50 per cent of the old paper fivers have already been returned to be destroyed, leaving around 160 million in circulation.

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 new £5 note was introduced in September last year (Getty Images)

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

The new Bank of England fiver is stronger than its predecessor and boasts new security features making it harder to counterfeit. But it has been controversial as it emerged that traces of animal-derived additives were used in its production.

In September this year, the Bank will issue a new £10 polymer note featuring author Jane Austen, recognising "her universal appeal and enduring contribution to English literature".

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