Latest news from the Bank of England newsletter:
King Charles III banknotes
In December, we unveiled new designs of our notes featuring a portrait of King Charles III on the front, which are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024. There are no other changes to the existing designs, so these notes can be checked using the same security features as existing Queen Elizabeth II notes. The two designs will co-circulate and there are no plans to withdraw Queen Elizabeth II notes before the end of their usable life. This is in line with guidance from the Royal Household, to minimise the environmental and financial impact.
If your business uses, or is responsible for, any machines that accept, sort or check notes, you will need to plan for their adaptation to work with the new note designs. While we have not yet finalised the issue date for the King Charles III notes, based on the most likely timeline we ask that you complete your machine updates by the end of March 2024.
In preparation, manufacturers will begin to release updates for you to install in your machines from September 2023. Please check with your manufacturers directly on their individual timelines as it may be some time later for certain machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to update my machines?
The new designs need to be programmed into the machines so that they will recognise and authenticate them. This is because the new notes feature a new portrait of King Charles III on the front.
Will self-service check outs need to be updated?
Yes, they will need to be updated to accept and check the King Charles III notes when taken in payment. We anticipate that cassettes can contain a mixture of both note designs in the same cassette for dispense, but please contact your manufacturer to confirm.
Will my ultraviolet (UV) lamp work with the new notes?
As with other security features, there will be no change to the UV feature on each note denomination, so King Charles III notes can be checked in exactly the same way as current Queen Elizabeth II notes. Some counterfeiters do attempt to copy UV features, so make sure your staff know exactly what to look for, such as the colours we use in the UV numbers.
Will my banknote weighing machines need to be adapted?
The King Charles III notes are being made be made to the same size and weight as Queen Elizabeth II notes. However, due to the sensitivity of weighing machines, we advise you to contact your manufacturer to confirm if any updates are required.
Will banknote checking training materials be updated?
Any necessary changes will be made in advance of King Charles III notes entering circulation. As currently, all of the training materials will be available at no cost on our website: www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/retailers-and-businesses. However, because there are no other changes to the existing note designs other than the portrait of King Charles III, these notes can be checked using exactly the same security features as with existing Queen Elizabeth II notes.
When will the date of issuance for the King Charles III notes be announced?
We expect King Charles III notes to enter circulation in mid-2024, and we expect to confirm the exact date in early 2024.
Counterfeits of withdrawn banknotes
Since 1 October 2022, Bank of England paper notes have not had legal tender status, but criminals are still using counterfeit versions of withdrawn paper notes to defraud businesses. Please make sure that everyone at your business who is involved in cash transactions knows not to accept any Bank of England paper notes. Scottish banknote issuers have also withdrawn all paper £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes, while Northern Ireland issuers have withdrawn all paper £5, £10 and £20 notes.