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British savers should raid their piggy banks and rummage down the back of their sofas for hundreds of millions of £1 coins before they become worthless on the high street later this year, ministers have said.
Come October, the round £1 coin will be replaced by a high-tech 12-sided version in an attempt to combat forgery. The Treasury estimates that £433m in £1 chunks is nestling in various savers’ caches or in and under items of furniture — money that must be spent before the autumn deadline in order to avoid losing out.
“We are calling on everybody — from conscientious children saving pocket money in piggy banks, to families who like to hold on to their coins for a rainy day — to be ready for this change,” David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, told the Financial Times.
“You have until autumn to spend your round pounds or exchange them for the edgy new version at your bank.”
The switch is the biggest to affect Britain’s currency since the old 50p coin was scrapped two decades ago. The original 50p, introduced in 1969 as part of Britain’s move to decimalisation, was phased out in 1998.
Approximately 800m of the old-design 50p coins were minted between 1969 and 1997, of which the Treasury estimated that 108m were still in circulation when they stopped being legal tender — or a loss of £54m to people’s pockets.
The pound’s replacement was announced by George Osborne, the former chancellor, in the 2014 Budget. Its design was based on the old threepenny bit, he said at the time.
The new coin will go into circulation on March 28 and has been described by the Royal Mint as “the most secure coin in the world”.
Counterfeit £1 coins are one of the most common types of currency fraud. Research carried out by the Mint in 2015 found that 2.6 per cent of the £1 coins in circulation were fakes, more than £45m in total.
The government has faced criticism over the speed with which the changeover is taking place, however. Retailers need to adjust millions of vending machines while councils and car park operators will have to adapt their parking meters to accept the new coin. The Automatic Vending Association expects the changes to cost the industry £100m.
The Treasury said it had consulted widely on the move and was working with a wide range of industry groups to help them make the change.
One accepts that it needs doing, if not now then every now and again, but this is going to be a massive PITA as/when it happens.
be amazed if there's not some "rounding up" done on with regards to things like parking prices too.
..and you thought you had issues with vending machines now eh ?!
The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
Children worship their toys. They ask of them what Men have always asked of their Gods: joy and forgetfulness.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity
As some one who works in retail I'm looking forward to the roll out of the new £1 coin and the new £10 note. Nearly as much as I'm looking forward to the accompanying whinging about "toy money" and how they "just don't feel right", as well as being told "there was nothing wrong with the old ones" for months afterward by every other customer
Absolutely needless. Preparing for a price hike for things.
This the continuation of our fivers getting smaller. They're the size of pound notes, kind of. Can buy just about as much and what's more infuriating is that banks have just started to give out fivers.
(a nickname that I first heard on my first visit to the UK during the Thatcher years - I had the misfortune to visit London during the "poll tax" unrest. The nickname bestowed because it too, was "small, brassy and thought itself a sovereign".)
We've just swapped out our old plastic fiver for a new design - with the tenner coming along in the next few months. All the vending machines AND all the self-serve checkouts that take cash ALL have to get adjusted to account for them, as well as still taking the old ones.
Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a ****.
Seems needlessly punishing to make the coins completely worthless in that short a time though... I mean, why have a time limit on exchanging coins at the bank? Just seems kind of weird, and really inconvenient...
Not saying anything against your wife in particular but some people seem to delight in having grievances against semi-random annoyances.
But tell her she can still pay in her collection of old £1 at her own bank after they cease as legal tender.
At my shop we exchange several hundred £1 each week. We can simply take peoples' old coins, give them the new ones in change, and pay in bags of the old ones at the bank. It won't take long for the new coins to replace the old ones. We still see a couple of old fivers each week, but they are still legal tender.
Everything is better with a huge wig. I thought that was common knowledge.
We should always remember that behind every social movement, every political ideal, and really anything worth doing at all, there is basically one thing that makes it function: work.
We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it.
"Your society's broken, so who should we blame? Should we blame the rich, powerful people who caused it? No, lets blame the people with no power and no money and those immigrants who don't even have the vote. Yea, it must be their fething fault." - Iain M Banks
"The language of modern British politics is meant to sound benign. But words do not mean what they seem to mean. 'Reform' actually means 'cut' or 'end'. 'Flexibility' really means 'exploit'. 'Prudence' really means 'don't invest'. And 'efficient'? That means whatever you want it to mean, usually 'cut'. All really mean 'keep wages low for the masses, taxes low for the rich, profits high for the corporations, and accept the decline in public services and amenities this will cause'." - Robin McAlpine from Common Weal
I am surprised the coin change is happening so fast, I hope all machines are ready in time, and hopefully not too early either. I like the appearance of the new £1 coin better than I thought, in the long run the serious criminal gangs will still be able to make replicas, but whether there will be a big decline in favour of electronic fraud I don't know. I will be keeping a few £1 coins back for my inherited coin collection, as one day they may be worth more! Its good we still have our own currency, looking back at what I have got, Europe used to have such wonderfully diverse currency and some of the coins are almost works of art. Then I look at today and most have the bland stale Euro which to my mind is one of the worst visual designs today. Its a great shame.
Also, the worst counterfeit coin I ever got was a round 20p, yes it was round and the Queens head stamp was1/4 of the coin too far over. How anyone managed to spend that in the system I don't know. Still worked for me, a pay to play pool table accepted it!
Speaking of money, anyone find that last special £5 note worth £50,000 yet?
This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/02/19 12:29:44