Merryn's Blog

Hang on to your £50s. There aren’t many of them about

The Bank of England isn’t banning the £50 note – it’s gradually phasing it out instead.


We have written a great deal over the last year about how and why the world's central bankers would like to ban cash. I won't go into the reasons for that again here. You can read previous pieces on it here.

But the launch of the new £5 note led me to think about when we might see our other notes being reissued as polymer notes. So I went to look on the Bank of England website, where I found a timetable for the launch of a new £10 note and for a new £20 note. But not one for the launch of a new £50 note.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.


Then this morning I had a chat with Adam Fergusson the brilliant author of When Money Dies and one of the speakers I am most looking forward to hearing at the upcoming MoneyWeek conference. Had I noticed, he said, that so far this year no £50 notes have been printed at all? I had not.

Advertisement - Article continues below

I went back to the Bank of England website. Click on it and run your eye down to the third table headed Production of English Bank Notes. In the column for 2015/16 the number of new £50 notes actually produced (as opposed to issued) is listed as zero.

Not so much a ban as a gradual phasing out?




How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019

Beyond the Brexit talk, the British economy isn’t doing too badly

The political Brexit pantomime aside, Britain is in pretty good shape. With near-record employment, strong wage growth and modest inflation, there is …
17 Oct 2019
UK Economy

The coming crisis at the BBC

The BBC’s chief has quit ahead of what promises to be years of turmoil and conflict with a hostile government. Will the licence fee survive?
25 Jan 2020
UK Economy

The Boris Bounce might stop the Bank of England from cutting rates

The latest snapshot of UK economic activity has sparked a bout of inflationary talk, with both manufacturing and service sectors in ruder health than …
24 Jan 2020

Most Popular


Thousands of pensioners are set to lose £3,500 a year

Around 11,000 pensioners in receipt of the “adult dependants’ addition” will lose up to £70 a week from their state pension.
27 Jan 2020
Investment strategy

The coronavirus is scary – but it's irrelevant to your investments

The spread of the coronavirus is causing alarm around the world. And, while it could be a serious short-term threat to human health, it’s not somethin…
24 Jan 2020

How long before financial markets stop fearing the coronavirus?

Markets have tanked as fears about the coronavirus spread. Some sectors will certainly take a hit. But long-term investors shouldn't bee too worried, …
28 Jan 2020

Money Minute Tuesday 28 January: a busy day in the corporate calendar

In today's Money Minute, the corporate calendar is busy with trading updates from companies on both sides of the Atlantic, including AG Barr and Apple…
28 Jan 2020