Banknote Frequently Asked Questions

 

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions around our decision to cease issuing our own banknotes with effect from 30th June 2020. You can continue to spend, accept and lodge our banknotes as normal until midnight on 30th June 2022.

  • Why has First Trust Bank decided to stop issuing its own banknotes?

    This was a commercial decision which took into account the increasing use of digital payment methods and mobile technology.

     

    We remain fully committed to Northern Ireland. We are supporting our customers by offering digitally-enabled personal products and services, business banking with a local market presence and a mortgage proposition to intermediary and direct markets. Over the last year we have invested £10m in transforming our business and we continue to invest in our products and services, including ongoing digital investment.

  • What does this mean for me as a noteholder?

    You can continue to spend, accept and lodge our banknotes as normal until midnight on 30th June 2022. Our banknotes will remain legal currency during this time. They will be accepted by retailers and High Street banks as has always been the case.


    After 30th June 2022 you will be able to exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent value, in person at First Trust Bank branches at no cost. There is no time limit on this. You can also can exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for sterling banknotes at any Post Office® free of charge after 30th June 2022 until 30th June 2024.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

     

    For more detailed information, view our information pages for noteholders in the UK and noteholders outside the UK.

  • What does this mean for me as a retailer or business owner?

    You can continue to spend, accept and lodge our banknotes as normal until midnight on 30th June 2022. Our banknotes will remain legal currency during this time and can be accepted as normal.


    After 30th June 2022 you will be able to exchange any remaining First Trust Bank banknotes you have for Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent value, in person at First Trust Bank branches at no cost. There is no time limit on this. You can also can exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for sterling banknotes at any Post Office® free of charge after 30th June 2022 until 30th June 2024.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

    For more detailed information, visit our information page for retailers.

  • What happens if I am not a First Trust Bank Customer?

    After 30th June 2022 anyone, regardless of whether or not you are a First Trust Bank customer, can exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent value, in person at First Trust Bank branches at no cost. There is no time limit on this.


    All noteholders can also exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for sterling banknotes of equivalent value at any Post Office® outlet across the UK, free of charge, after 30th June 2022 until 30th June 2024.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

  • I live in Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales), what does this mean for me?

    In the period up to 30th June 2022, First Trust Bank banknotes can be lodged to your bank account as normal.


    After 30th June 2022 noteholders in Great Britain can exchange First Trust Bank banknotes for sterling banknotes of equivalent value at any Post Office® outlet across the UK, free of charge, until 30th June 2024.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

     

    For more information visit our Noteholders in the UK page.

  • I live in the Republic of Ireland, what does this mean for me?

    AIB customers holding First Trust Bank banknotes can exchange them for Bank of England banknotes at any AIB branch from 13th February 2019 until 30th June 2022.


    Non-AIB Customers can only exchange First Trust Bank banknotes to Bank of England banknotes in the following AIB branches from 13th February 2019 until 30th June 2022:

     

    There will be no charge for exchanging notes.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

  • Will I still be able to deposit sterling banknotes from other banks to my First Trust Bank account?

    Yes, there will be no change in how First Trust Bank handles sterling banknotes issued by the Bank of England or other authorised note issuing banks.


    Our decision is solely in respect of First Trust Bank’s own banknote issuance. We will continue to handle sterling banknotes issued by the Bank of England or any of the other authorised note issuing banks in Northern Ireland (Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Danske Bank) and Scotland (Clydesdale Bank, Bank of Scotland and The Royal Bank of Scotland).

  • What will happen to First Trust Bank banknotes?

    First Trust Bank will stop issuing its own banknotes in 2019 and gradually withdraw these from circulation. We will replace them with Bank of England banknotes through our ATM network. This was a commercial decision which took into account the increasing use of digital payment methods and mobile technology.


    You can continue to spend, accept and lodge our banknotes in the UK as normal until midnight on 30th June 2022. There will be no change in the way individuals or businesses can use our banknotes until that date.


    After 30th June 2022 anyone still holding a First Trust Bank banknote can exchange these for Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent value, in person at any First Trust Bank branch at no cost. There is no time limit on this.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

  • What does this mean for the future of First Trust Bank?

    We remain fully committed to Northern Ireland. We are supporting our customers by offering digitally-enabled personal products and services, business banking with a local market presence and a mortgage proposition to intermediary and direct markets. Over the last year we have invested £10m in transforming our business and we continue to invest in our products and services, including ongoing digital investment.

  • How can I check if I have a relevant banknote?

    Please view our banknote section where you will find a catalogue of our notes with their security features.

  • What can I do with old sterling Provincial Bank of Ireland and sterling Allied Irish Banks banknotes?

    Old sterling Provincial Bank of Ireland Limited, Allied Irish Banks Limited and Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. banknotes can be exchanged for the equivalent face value in Bank of England banknotes, or other sterling banknotes of equivalent face value, in person at First Trust Bank branches, at no cost. There is no time limit on this.

     

    Supporting documentation, including proof of identity and address, may be required. Limits may apply.

  • I have a First Trust Bank banknote with a low serial number, are they worth more than their face value because of their rarity?

    All our banknotes, regardless of their serial number, are only ever worth their face value to us.

  • I am a note collector, can I get a set of your old/current banknotes?

    We don’t offer this service, as we are currently withdrawing our notes from circulation. Therefore we are unable to fulfil any such requests.

  • What are the acceptable forms of proof of ID and address that may be required?

  • What is the breakdown of sterling banknotes in circulation across the UK?

    Issuing Bank

    Value of Notes in Circulation

    Issuers % of NIC in UK Economy

    Bank of England

    70,000,000,000 *

    90.3%

    7 Scottish & Northern Ireland Banks (including First Trust Bank)

    7,508,841,137 **

    9.7%

    First Trust Bank

    303,800,369 ***

    0.40%

    UK Total Notes In Circulation

    77,508,841,137

     

    * Approx value of Bank of England notes in circulation as detailed on Bank of England website
    ** Value of Scottish & Northern Ireland banknotes in circulation at 31/12/18
    *** Value of First Trust Bank banknotes in circulation at 31/12/18

     

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I have a question that's not answered in the above FAQ's. What do I do?

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the above FAQS, you can call into your nearest First Trust Bank branch or call us on 0345 646 0203. Lines are open from 9am to 5pm Monday - Friday (except on bank holidays).

 

Alternatively you can submit your question online and we will aim to come back to you within 3 working days. To submit a question, select the option below that best matches your type of query:

  • I am a noteholder based in the UK
  • I am a noteholder based outside the UK
  • I am a retailer
  • I am a voluntary group or relevant body
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