People have less than two weeks to spend or bank their old paper fivers before they lose their legal tender status.

From May 5 shops no longer have to accept the paper £5 note as payment and the new polymer banknote featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be the only Bank of England £5 note with legal tender status.

The Bank of England said last month more than 50% of old fivers have been returned to be destroyed, leaving around 160 million in circulation.

The old paper fiver and the new £5 note have co-existed since the polymer banknote was first issued by the Bank in September 2016.

What should I do if I still have old fivers in my purse/wallet?

Shops have been advised to stop handing out the old notes in their change.

But if you do get one you can ask for it to be swapped or banks and building societies may still accept paper £5 notes after May 5, but this is at their own discretion.

What if my bank won't take my old fiver?

The Bank of England will continue to exchange the old £5 notes for all time, as it would for any other bank note which no longer has legal tender status.

Notes may be presented for payment either in person or sent by post (at the sender’s risk) to: Dept NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

Why did the £5 note have to change?

The new Bank of England fiver is stronger than its predecessor and boasts new security features making it harder to counterfeit.

In September this year, the Bank will issue a new £10 polymer note featuring author Jane Austen, recognising 'her universal appeal and enduring contribution to English literature'.