UK Small Business Org. Urges Shops to Take Old Pound Coins Past Deadline
If you haven’t fished out your old pound coins from under the sofa or the depths of the change jar, don’t panic, you may have a reprieve. With just five days to go before the old coin is no longer legal tender, shopkeepers are being urged to accept the old coins from customers beyond the official deadline of Oct. 15.
In fact, you might still be able to use those old coins to purchase train tickets, use a supermarket trolley, or use your local car park for a while yet because some machines are not yet converted after six months of the new coin.
On Monday, Oct. 9, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) contradicted the Treasury and Royal Mint by advising the 170,000 companies it represents to keep accepting the old coin.
“Shopkeepers will be aware that the Royal Mint has this deadline but at the same time they will not want to let their loyal customers down by saying they cannot pay with a round pound if they do not have any other change,” an FSB spokesperson told the Telegraph.
“It would help if small firms knew they were allowed a short transition period to collect the old coins if they wish to and are willing to bank them, but not give out to customers. This would provide a useful community service, allowing customers a few weeks to get rid of the final few pound coins in circulation.”
Although the round pounds are technically no longer legal tender past the deadline, banks and post offices will continue to swap the old forgery-plagued round ones for the new 12-sided coins afterwards.
The Royal Mint and the Treasury originally called for a clear-cut transition on Oct. 15, and there have been warnings that “chaos” could result if the deadline is not followed closely. However on Monday, the Treasury said that if people to find any round coins, “they can still be banked or donated to charity.”
Discount retailer Poundland has said that they would also accept the old coins at over 850 of its UK stores until Oct. 31, describing the decision as a “no-brainer.”
“Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop, rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office, will come as good news,” Barry Williams, the managing director of Poundland, told The Telegraph.
Some ticket machines on the London Overground, as well as tram services, are unlikely to be ready for the new coin until the end of the year, Transport for London has said, according to the Independent.
The new 12-sided coins have been in circulation since March 28, and were designed as a secure replacement to the old coins, one in 30 of which was estimated to have been a forgery.
The Sunday Times reported that trolleys at some Sainsbury’s and Tesco branches won’t be ready in time, six months after the new coins became legal tender.
The Royal Mint website advises retailers that after the Oct. 15 deadline, they have no obligation to accept the round pound, and should not distribute it in change.