£500m in round pound coins still in circulation ahead of deadline

Old pound coin

GETTYOld pound coin will cease to be legal tender on October 16

Poundland, which has outlets in Accrington and Burnley, was the first retailer to announce it will accept the old coins until October 31 at all stores.

Roughly 500 million old pound coins are thought to still be in circulation in the United Kingdom, but as of midnight on Sunday businesses can stop accepting them.

And the switch has raised concern that piggy banks, coin jars and savings could soon be worthless if not spent/cashed in.

The hour of reckoning for the old pound coins is very almost upon us - they are just days away from being cast into the empty void of futility.

Those are the words of Wolverhampton shopkeeper Harbhatan Singh, who has run the Select & Save shop in Bushbury for more than 15 years and says he will still accept old pound coins when they cease to be legal tender next week.

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The UK's largest retailer, Tesco, said earlier this week that it would allow its shoppers to pay with the round pound coins at tills and self-service machines for an extra week in apparent defiance of the 15 October deadline the Royal Mint has imposed.

He said: "The hard work of the British public has paid off and I am delighted that more than 1.2 billion round pound coins have been returned".

"We are urging the public to spend, bank or donate their old pound coins and asking businesses who are yet to do so, to update their systems before the old coin ceases to be legal tender". Baroness Neville Rolfe, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: "Our message is clear - if you have a round one pound coin sitting at home or in your wallet, you need to spend it or return it to your bank before October 15".

If you do not want to risk being caught out though, bear in mind that shops are not obliged to accept your old round pound after October 15, so it would be wise to offload your old coins by banking, spending or giving them to charity before then. "However, the round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer's account at most high street banks and the Post Office".

RBS/NatWest also said it would encourage customers to try to hand in their old coins as soon as possible.

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