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Race against time to find £420m worth of old £1 coins

26 October 2017

“All change!” Old round pound coins cease to be legal tender on 15 October 2017

  • One in three people will conduct a full-scale sweep of their homes looking for old £1 coins;
  • Almost half say they have £1 coins stashed in piggy banks and in their cars;
  • 18% of adults will keep a round pound coin as a souvenir.

The new 12-sided £1 coins entered into circulation on 28 March 2017, and over the last six months both the old and new £1 coins have been legal tender.  But now people need to round-up their old coins and either use them, or exchange them at a bank or the Post Office before shops and businesses stop accepting the coins as payment.

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Money, reveals where people are stashing their pound coins:

  • 36% use a coin jar;
  • 13% said their children save £1 coins in their piggy banks;
  • 17% keep pound coins in their car to unlock supermarket shopping trolleys;
  • 15% carry pound coins in their glovebox to pay for parking.

As a result, there are £420m worth of old pound coins rattling around the UK’ homes and cars with just a matter of weeks left for people to round them all up.

While many people will be ferreting around for old £1 coins to make sure they spend them before the mid-October deadline, a fifth (18%) of those surveyed plan to keep some old-style coins as souvenirs. It seems people can be quite sentimental when it comes to currency – almost one in 10 (8%) said they had kept a souvenir £1 note, which were withdrawn from circulation in 1988 in favour of the £1 coin.

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost from GoCompare Money, said: “There’s less than three weeks left to find and spend £420m worth of old-style pound coins before they are no longer legal tender.

“Already over a billion of the 1.7billion have been returned since the new 12-sided bimetallic £1 coin was introduced back in March over forgery concerns, with the Royal Mint estimating one in 30 round pounds was a fake.

“With the clock ticking it’s time to raid your piggy banks, search gloveboxes and get your hands down the back of the sofa and then spend the coins, take them to a bank or give them to charity.  After October 15th they can only be exchanged at banks or Post Offices.”

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Notes to editors:

*Survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by OnePoll (8 to 13 March 2017).  Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number. The UK Adult population (20+) estimated to be 48,913,000 (Source: Annual mid-year population estimates for the UK, 2014).  49% of UK adults say they have £1 coins lying about their homes, equating to 23.9m people.  23.9m multiplied by the average value of £1 coins people estimate they have lying around their home (£17.55) equates to £420.5m.