Deadline looms for SMEs to rid themselves of old pound coins

This Sunday – the 15th October - is the final day of the old pound coin functioning as legal tender and this is something many SMEs are not ready for.

This Sunday – the 15th October is the final day of the old pound coin functioning as legal tender, and this is something many SMEs are not ready for. On 28th March, 1.5 billion new, lighter-weight, 12-sided pound coins came into circulation. There remain a number of concerns for SMEs in regards to the change, which SMEs must now face up to, and if necessary take last minute steps to respond to. ICAEW has covered important points that SMEs should bear in mind to ensure the switch is as smooth as possible.

The old one pound coins will cease to be legal tender on 15th October 2017. This means that SMEs will have to dig out all of their old one pound coins and spend or bank them before Sunday’s cut-off date.

Adapt current business premises and property

The new one pound coin is different in shape and weight to the old coin, therefore businesses will be required to adapt their vending machines, lockers, self-service checkouts and shopping trolleys. Additionally, local councils will need to update parking meters.

Be aware of further changes

A new £10 note has been added to circulation, following on from the success of the new polymer £5 note. Looking further into the future, a new £20 note is expected to be introduced in 2020. SMEs will need to schedule in time to prepare for these modifications.

Seek advice

If business owners are unsure of what steps they need to take in accommodating the new pound coin, they should seek advice. The Royal Mint website displays useful information regarding the change. Additionally, SMEs are eligible to receive free business advice from the ICAEW Business Advice Service.

Clive Lewis, ICAEW head of enterprise, says, ‘If you still have old one pound coins after Sunday 15th October do not discard them. You can still deposit them in your usual high street bank or via any Post Office even after the cut-off date. However if you manage machines or lockers that require coins to be used these must be amended by the deadline. Businesses are currently facing many challenges as they struggle to manage other changes such as the impending departure from Brexit – this pound coin change is one they could well live without. However the measures were necessary to prevent on-going and worsening counterfeit measures of this old coin.’

Further reading on pound coins

Related Topics

Currency

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