Nottingham traders say some customers will be sorry to see the old £5 note go – because the new design is ‘slippery’, and has been compared to Monopoly money.
The old notes, which feature prison reformer Elizabeth Fry on the back, must be spent by midnight tomorrow (May 5) or taken into a bank or building society to be deposited.
The Bank of England (BoE) has said some banking branches may continue to accept the old note after Friday – but this is at their discretion so people should check what their bank’s policy is.
However BoE itself will continue to exchange the notes forever, as it has done with all other Bank notes that are no longer legal tender.
Some stall holders at Nottingham’s Victoria Centre Market have seen an increase in the old notes over the last few days as people rush to spend them, and say the new notes are more difficult to handle.
Helen Tomlinson, owner of pet shop Supa Pet, said: “Yesterday we had quite a few of the old ones – but I’m not handing any more out – I’m just banking them up ready to take to the bank.
“A lot of customers don’t like the new note – they don’t like the feel of it and compare it to Monopoly money.
“I have found the new notes are are quite slippery and tend to stick when you get few together.”
The new polymer-based fiver has been used in conjunction with the old note since it came into circulation in September 2016 – but it is thought around 150 million of the old notes are still in circulation.
Kasula Gsoguz, from Fabric House in the market, says her customers have still been using the paper notes.She said: “People are still bringing in the old ones – but I heard tomorrow is the last day they can use it so then I won’t accept it any more.
“I am not very impressed with the new notes. They don’t stay in the bag and they slip out.
“Also there is animal fat in them – I am vegetarian so it is not good for us, people don’t like that.”
In March the BoE also released a new ‘indestructible’ 12-sided one pound coin.
The old ’round pound’ will stop being legal tender from October 15 this year.
May Kenney says she is a fan of both the new five pound note and one pound coin.
She said: “I have not seen many old notes – but I like the new one, it’s alright – although the notes do stick together.
“One woman told me she doesn’t like the new note, but most people don’t really say anything.
“I have seen only a few new one pound coins. They are a lot lighter – so for us they are better.”
Mary Meakin, owner of Mary Tony Books, says she doesn’t understand why people are complaining about the new tender.
She said: “Many people are moaning about it – yet I think [the new notes] are lovely because they’re nice and clean, and fresh.
“There’s very few of the old notes about now. I think in the last month we’ve only had three or four – the ones we’ve had we’ve used up.
“The new notes are clean and can’t get dirty like the old ones could – I think they’re the best thing we’ve had in years.”