Last May I purchased British pounds from my local US Bank. When I tried to use them in England I was told they were "old" currency and not acceptable. I went to several banks and could not exchange them and finally had to go to a currency exchange and pay a fee to get "new" notes. When I returned I contacted US Bank and they told me they use an "outside" company for foreign currency and could do nothing. The fee I paid was small, but I am upset that whoever gave us the pounds did not know about "old" currency or DID know and gave them to us anyway. I think travelers need to be aware of this issue.