Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

How to use the old ‘Houblon’ £50 notes

How to use the old ‘Houblon’ £50 notes

An old version of the £50 note will be withdrawn this week, and the is advising anyone who still has one “to spend, deposit or exchange it before 30th April”.

After that date, the only £50 banknote that will continue to be legal tender is the one introduced in 2011 featuring Matthew Boulton and James Watt on the reverse.

So, charities with any Houblon £50 notes still in their possession should exchange them at their bank in the next three days. Retailers will not be obliged to accept payment in that form after 30 April 2014.

Sir John Houblon was the first Governor of the Bank of England. He was also Lord Mayor of London and member of parliament for Bodmin.


Close up of Houblon £50 note

Close up of Houblon £50 note – on


Bank of England’s advice

Victoria Cleland, Head of Notes Division at the Bank of England, explains what you should do if you have an old ‘Houblon’ £50 note.



Don’t panic

Even after that date, the banknotes can still be exchanged. Barclays, NatWest, RBS, Ulster Bank and the Post Office have all agreed to exchange Houblon £50 notes for members of the public, up to the value of £200, until 30 October 2014.

Thereafter, the Bank of England will continue to exchange Houblon £50 notes. Indeed, they do so for any Bank of England note which no longer has legal tender status.

The Bank of England has published posters with advice on what to do with the Houblon notes in English and Welsh.


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

Get free email updates

Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]

* We do not share your email or personal details.
" />