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New polymer £50 note to be launched

The £50 note will stay part of UK currency with a new polymer design, the Treasury has announced. 

It follows a public consultation about whether to scrap the £50 note, which currently has 330 million notes in circulation worth around £16.5 billion. The £50 note was introduced in 1981, and evidence from the Bank of England says demand is still rising. 

The Treasury says that the new polymer note will help tackle counterfeiting by being tougher and harder to forge.

What's happening to the £50 note?

Old paper-style £50 notes will be replaced with a new, more durable polymer design. 

£5 and £10 notes have already switched to polymer, while a new £20 design will be launched in 2020. 

The Treasury hasn't yet announced what the timeline will be for introducing the new £50 note.

After the polymer £5 notes were released, paper notes were slowly withdrawn from circulation and lost their legal tender status eight months after the polymer replacements were launched.

Of course, it is always possible to exchange a paper note with the Bank of England, see our £1.8 billion of old fivers and tenners still out there – how to make them spendable again MSE News story for more information. 

What does the Treasury say?

Robert Jendrick, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Our coins and notes are respected and recognised the world over and are a key part of the UK's heritage and identity. People should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their money and we're making sure that cash is here to stay.

"Our money needs to be secure and this new note will help prevent crime. This modern £50 note follows the popular new pound coin, which is the most secure of its kind in the world."