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Members are reminded that the last day that customers can spend £20 or £50 paper notes in your stores is this Friday (September 30).

After that date, they are no longer legal tender and any that you receive should be deposited at your bank or Post Office.

National President Jason Birks said: “Remind your customers of this date too to avoid any misunderstanding or disputes over payments for goods with the old notes after Friday.

“It’s also worth checking that you don’t have any of these paper notes in your own wallets and purses or in your homes!”

Explaining why the paper notes were being withdrawn, Bank of England chief cashier Sarah John said: “Over the past few years, we have been changing our banknotes from paper to polymer, because these designs are more difficult to counterfeit, while being more durable.

“The notes are resistant to dirt and moisture and so remain in better condition for longer.  These notes also have tactile features that allow the blind and partially sighted to use them.”

The polymer £20 note features JMW Turner, the English Romantic painter, while the polymer £50 note carries an image of scientist and codebreaker Alan Turing.  After September 30, they are the only notes with legal tender status.

Paper £20 and £50 notes issued by Clydesdale Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland, and paper £20 notes issued by Bank of Ireland (UK) plc, AIB Group (UK) plc, Northern Bank Limited (trades as Danske Bank), and National Westminster Bank plc (trades as Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland will also be withdrawn after this Friday, and these issuing authorities have advised retailers and the public to spend or deposit these notes by that date as well.

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