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Houblon £50 Withdrawn

The Houblon £50 note will be withdrawn from circulation on 30th April. After this date, it will only be accepted or exchanged on a goodwill basis.

When John Houblon left his house in Threadneedle Street on the morning of 27th July 1694, it was only a short walk to his new office in Cheapside, where he would be starting work as the Bank of England’s first Governor.

He could scarcely have imagined that some 300 years later, the institution he had helped create would still be running as one of the world’s foremost central banks – whilst operating from the site of his family home.

And surely it must have never crossed his mind that the Bank would one day issue a banknote depicting both his house and portrait, in an alien world where financial assets are measured in hundreds of billions of pounds.

But from 30th April, following a 20 year lifespan, the Series E £50 note will be withdrawn from circulation.

Since November 2011 the note has been circulated in parallel with its replacement, featuring engineer James Watt and his business partner Matthew Boulton. There is currently no confirmation of whether the £50 will follow the lower denominations into polymer.

Withdrawing a banknote is not a quick or straightforward process. For many months since the circulation of the new issue, Vaultex has been sorting and splitting the two series before returning the Houblon notes to the Bank of England.

The Houblon banknotes can be used as legal tender only until 30th April, but if you’re lucky enough to have any lying around, Barclays, RBS, Natwest, Ulster Bank and the Post Office will exchange old for new until 30th October 2014 – up to a value of £200. The Bank of England will continue to exchange indefinitely.[1]


[1] http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/fiftywithdrawal/default.aspx