Deadline looms for handing in old paper £5 notes as polymer fiver launches this weekend

Helen Cahill
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The new notes have come under criticism from vegans (Source: Getty)

The deadline is looming for using up the old £5 note, with the Bank of England saying all notes should be spent or exchanged by the weekend.

From Saturday onwards, shops may refuse the old note featuring Elizabeth Fry, but banks can exchange them. Whether or not banks and building societies will accept the note will be at their own discretion, however.

The Bank of England will, however, exchange any of the old notes. It has also said shoppers should refuse the old £5 note if given it as change.

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The new polymer note has come under attack from vegans because it is made using tallow, a form of animal fat.

However, from Saturday, vegans will be forced to use the note. The Bank of England spent £46m on printing the new tender, and said in February it would not reprint the note, deciding that such an action would delay "the benefits of the increased counterfeit resilience of polymer being achieved for the Bank and the public".

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