From the BBC:
"Deadline to dig out old paper £5 notes"
Millions of paper fivers are still in purses, wallets and piggy banks, despite the banknote ceasing to be legal tender by the weekend. The Bank of England said 150 million of its paper £5 notes - the equivalent of about three for every adult in the UK - remain with the public. Shops may refuse them from Saturday, although banks should exchange them. The change to polymer £5 notes also marks a temporary absence of women featuring on Bank of England banknotes. Social reformer Elizabeth Fry's portrait has been on the paper £5 note for 15 years. That note will no longer be legal tender from midnight on Friday night. The paper £5 has been replaced by the polymer note featuring Sir Winston Churchill. The polymer Churchill fiver entered circulation in September, since when it has been circulating in tandem with the paper £5 note. With millions of the new notes having been printed, the old paper fivers have been withdrawn by banks. Retailers have accepted the old paper £5 notes, but can refuse them from Saturday. Shopkeepers will have arrangements with their banks, should they still hold them in their tills from the weekend. More significantly, millions of the old banknotes are still in handbags, bedroom drawers and down the back of sofas across the country. Generally, banks will continue to accept or replace any of these notes brought into a branch by their own customers - at least for the next few months. A spokesman for RBS said: "After the note goes out of circulation, customers will still be able to bring in their old £5 notes for exchange at one of our branches. Non-customers will be directed to their own bank." A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman said: "We'll continue to accept them from our customers, either exchanging them for the new polymer note, or depositing it into their account, whichever they prefer." The public can take or post any old notes, at any time in the future, to the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street in the City of London, to be replaced. The old paper £5 notes, when withdrawn from circulation, are shredded and turned into compost, according to the Bank of England.
^ I have said it before (about the new Euros) and the new Pounds are the same: I will never understand why countries place all this added burden on its citizens when they add new money into circulation. Citizens have to take their own money to a bank and get it changed into the new bill. That doesn't sound like an easy or convenient solution. The US has a great example that should be followed. New bills are legal tender alongside old bills. When the old bills are sent to banks (by stores, businesses, etc.) they are destroyed. There is no extra burden on the individual to exchange the money themselves. The US way has worked for decades. ^