NEARLY 250 million old £5 and £10 notes, which are no longer accepted in shops, are yet to be returned to the Bank of England.
While the old notes are no longer accepted in shops, they do still hold their value and can be traded in for new usable notes at a number of places.
Around 124 million paper £5 notes and around 122 million paper £10 notes are yet to be returned, the Bank of England has told consumer website Money Saving Expert.
The old £5 and £10 notes haven't been accepted in shops since May 2017 and March 2018, respectively.
New polymer £5 banknotes were introduced by the Bank of England in 2016, while the new plastic £10 note was bought into circulation in 2017.
The new fivers and tenners were designed to be sturdier than the old versions; able to withstand water damage and less likely to tear.
How to make your old fivers and tenners usable again
The paper notes have been officially out of circulation for over a year but you can still spend them again with these tips from Money Saving Expert:
- You can exchage them at the Bank of England, which is on Threadneedle Street, London. It has a counter open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm, but is closed on weekends and bank holidays. You may need to provide two proofs of your identity, one photo ID and one proof of address in order to exchange your cash.
- If you're not nearby or don't fancying queuing, you can post them to the Bank and have the money deposited into your bank account. Full details are on the Bank of England website.
- Major banks including Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, RBS, Santander and Ulster Bank have said that they will still allow their customers to deposit old notes into thier own bank accounts.
- The Post Office allows customers of the following banks to despoit old notes into bank accounts at their local branch: Allied Irish Bank (GB), Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, CAF, Cahoot, Cashplus, Clydesdale Bank, Co-op Bank, Danske Bank, First Direct, First Trust Bank, Halifax, Handelsbanken, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Metro Bank, Nationwide, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Smile, Think Money, TSB, Ulster Bank, Virgin Money and Yorkshire Bank.
When they launched, there was a frenzy to find one-off notes which could be worth thousands either because of notable serial numbers or because they included drawings of footballer Harry Kane and author Jane Austen by artist Graham Short.
One new ten pound note was sold for £3,600 after the seller noticed it had the serial number AH1775 - the same year as Austen's birth.
But while the new plastic notes have sold for large sums of money on the likes of auction website eBay, there seems to be little interest in the older paper versions.
Of course there's nothing to stop you from hanging on to yours in the hope that it may be worth more in future.