Post Offices across the UK are preparing for swathes of people rushing to cash in their £20 and £50 paper bank notes ahead of the deadline this week.

Friday, September 30 is the last day that the Bank of England’s paper £20 and £50 notes will have legal tender status, having been replaced by polymer versions.

To date, £1.2 billion worth of the paper notes have been deposited at 11,500 Post Office branches.

And more than £100 million-worth of the notes have been deposited so far this month.

After Friday, only polymer Bank of England notes will have legal tender status.

The new polymer £20 notes feature artist JMW Turner, and the new polymer £50 notes show Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing.

Martin Kearsley, Post Office banking director, said: “We’re fully aware that people lead busy lives and some may put off depositing their paper £20 and £50 banknotes until the last moment.

“Postmasters and their staff are on hand to provide that human reassurance that your old notes have been deposited into your bank account and will provide a receipt too. Most Post Offices are open long hours including on Friday.”

Once the September 30 deadline passes and the Bank of England has withdrawn the legal tender status of paper £20 and £50 banknotes, people will still be able to deposit paper notes at their Post Office.