February 27, 2014 – The Bank of England will withdraw the 50 pound banknote carrying the portrait of Sir John Houblon, the first Governor of the Bank of England, from circulation on 30 April. From that time, only the 50 pound note featuring Matthew Boulton and James Watt, which was introduced in November 2011, will hold legal tender status.
Houblon 50 pound banknote. © Bank of England.
Members of the public who have Houblon 50 pound notes can continue to use them up to and including 30 April.
After 30 April, general retailers are unlikely to accept the Houblon notes as payment. However, most banks and building societies will continue to accept them for deposit to customer accounts. Agreeing to exchange the notes after 30 April is at the discretion of individual institutions. Barclays, NatWest, RBS, Ulster Bank and the Post Office have all agreed to exchange Houblon 50 pound notes for members of the public – up to the value of 200 pounds– until 30 October 2014.
The Bank of England will continue to exchange Houblon 50 pound notes after 30 April, as it would for any other Bank of England note which no longer has legal tender status.
A short video of Victoria Cleland, Head of Notes Division, talking about the withdrawal of the Houblon 50 pound note is available on youtube.