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17 July, 2024
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New banknotes featuring King Charles released in the UK

New £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes with King Charles begin circulation


Banknotes bearing the portrait of King Charles III have been released into circulation for the first time today. According to a report on Metro UK, the new £5, £10, £20, and £50 notes retain the existing designs but feature the new monarch's image. These notes will co-circulate with those depicting the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The new notes are being introduced gradually. In line with guidance from the Royal Household, they will only replace worn notes and meet increased demand. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey commented, “We’re very pleased to be issuing the new King Charles banknotes. This is a historic moment, as it’s the first time we’ve changed the sovereign on our notes.”

Currently, over 4.6 billion Bank of England notes are in circulation, worth around £82 billion.

Availability and locations

The new banknotes will initially be available at selected Post Office branches, including:

- Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester
- Sunderland City
- Portsmouth
- Birmingham
- City of London
- Moorgate
- Broadway, London
- Great Massingham
- Tetbury
- Minchinhampton
- Windsor
- Houndsditch
- Woodstock
- Poundbury

Thousands more branches will receive the new notes in the coming weeks. Initially, £5, £10, and £20 denominations will be available.

Karen Stonham, manager of the Portsmouth Post Office, expressed excitement about being one of the first branches to offer the new notes. Krishna Thakeria, manager of the Broadway Post Office, highlighted the special significance due to their proximity to Buckingham Palace.

Post Office branches have reported a surge in cash transactions, with deposits and withdrawals reaching a record £3.48 billion in April. Ross Borkett, banking director at the Post Office, noted, “This historic launch of the new banknotes featuring King Charles III comes as we experience the highest levels of cash withdrawals and deposits in Post Office branches.”

The Bank of England has established temporary facilities for obtaining the new notes. From June 5 to 30, a postal exchange service allows customers to receive up to £300 of the new banknotes. Details and application forms are available on the Bank of England’s website. Additionally, the Bank of England counter at Threadneedle Street will issue the new notes from June 5 to 11 with the same limit.

The new banknotes were previewed at the Bank of England Museum’s Future Of Money exhibition. Despite the rise in digital and contactless payments, cash remains popular, with over 70% of adults using it at least once a fortnight, according to Graham Mott, director of strategy at ATM and cash access network Link.

A recent Link survey found that 48% of people anticipate a cashless society in their lifetime, though the average UK adult still withdrew around £1,500 from ATMs last year. To safeguard access to cash, legislation was passed in 2023 as part of the Financial Services and Markets Act.

While notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, those interested in the new King Charles III notes now have the opportunity to acquire them.

[Information sourced from Metro UK]

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