Paper, plastic and pound coins: It’s all change for the UK’s cash

George Hay Chartered Accountants

Last month saw the introduction of the new £10 note to replace the old cotton paper version, whilst this month sees our last chance to spend the old round £1 coin.

Following in the footsteps of the new £5 note, the £10 note is made from the same polymer material and boasts similar sophisticated built-in security features. Not only this, but for the first time on a UK banknote, a series of raised dots appear in the top left-hand corner of the new £10 note enabling blind and partially sighted people to quickly and easily identify it.

The new notes feature an image of novelist, Jane Austen and are designed to last two and a half times longer than the previous paper £10 notes. Another famous face from the past, Winston Churchill, is depicted on the £5 note which was introduced in September 2016.

You still have some time remaining to spend any old-style £10 notes you have in your wallet as they don’t officially cease to be legal tender until Spring 2018. The exact date is still yet to be announced, but the Bank of England have stated that we will be given at least 3 months’ notice.

The same cannot be said for the old £1 coin, which ceased to be legal tender on 15 October 2017. Despite this, it is believed that around £500 million are still in circulation, following the arrival of the new 12-sided £1 coin in March this year.

After 15 October, businesses are no longer obliged to accept the old £1 coins. A spokesman for The Royal Mint told the Daily Telegraph: “Following the ending of legal tender status, the current round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account, either business or personal, at most high street banks, provided that you hold an account with them.

“Specific arrangements may vary from bank to bank, including deposit limits. It is recommended that you consult with your bank directly.”

However, there has been the suggestion that some shops and small firms may continue to accept the old £1 coin after the deadline, with a stringent changeover period cited as the main motivation behind this. Poundland have confirmed that 850 of its UK stores will continue to accept the old £1 coin until 31 October.

Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said “This would provide a useful community service, allowing customers a few weeks to get rid of the final few pound coins in circulation.”

If businesses and shops decide to gift this extra convenience to shoppers and relinquish their right to refuse the old round £1 coins they must be willing to bank whatever they take, consequently ensuring that they really are removed from circulation permanently.

Following the introduction of the new £1, £5 and £10, it is expected that by 2020 we will also have a new polymer £20, featuring the face of British painter JMW Turner. There are currently no plans to change the £50, which was released in 2011.


Link: Jane Austen £10 polymer note in circulation

Link: Old £1 coin taken out of circulation in ONE month – what should you do if you’ve still got one?

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