Money laundering deadline approaching …

Today, 23 June 2021, the new polymer £50 note will enter circulation, and the Bank of England have announced that 30 September 2022 will be the last day you can use Bank of England paper £20 and £50 notes.

So if you have £5 million of illicit gains stuffed under your mattress then you probably need to get your skates on and start laundering!

Two obvious questions. First, as we transition to digital payments is this the right time to be sustaining the life of a high-value note, more favoured by money launderers than legitimate citizens? Second, as was done in the wake of the Northern Bank robbery, why haven’t central banks used the regular re-issuance of notes as part of a strategy to make crime less profitable? Perhaps, an intelligent feature required as part of the the Bank of England’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) strategy?