Are you a coin hoarder? If so, this is a huge warning. Empty your piggybanks, upend your coin jars, scrabble behind the sofa and get all your pound coins together – then spend or save ’em before October.
Update Tue 25 April: This blog was first published in February, but now the new £1 coin has entered circulation, we’ve updated the info below.
With the new 12-sided £1 coin just having hit the streets, the current round version will stop being legal tender (and so won’t be accepted in shops) on 15 October 2017. After that, if you still have any old £1 coins, you won’t be able to spend them.
Of course, you’ve a few months left yet to sort it. But it’s worth doing it now, as with piggybanks and coin jars it’s all too easy to squirrel money away and forget about it.
Many banks and building societies have told us they will continue to accept the old pound coin even after 15 October. But all those we asked, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds/Bank of Scotland, Nationwide, RBS and Santander, said they’d only do this for their own customers.
So if you’re left holding old pound coins after they stop being legal tender and your bank won’t play ball, opening a new account with a different provider may be the only solution.
In any event, carting a bag of coins to the bank is likely to be a real faff – particularly if there isn’t a branch near where you live. So it’s much better simply to spend or save them now.
If you’re saving for something specific though, don’t feel this warning means you need to abandon your piggybank savings plan. Simply take the pound coins out and replace them with a note or other coins of a similar value – then keep on saving…
What about old fivers – aren’t they also being scrapped?
That’s right. The shiny new plastic fivers are already in circulation, and the older, larger fiver is leaving us even sooner than the pound – the withdrawal date’s set for 5 May.
Now technically, unlike the pound coin, the £5 banknote is produced by the Bank of England and not the Royal Mint. This means that, even after it’s been scrapped, the old fiver is covered by what’s effectively a Bank of England ‘buy back guarantee’ – old banknotes officially hold their face value “for all time”.
That means if you’re stuck with an old fiver after 5 May, you can still exchange it at face value with the Bank of England in London, in person or by post (at your own risk). What’s more, while they’re under no obligation to do so, many banks and building societies say they will accept the old fivers from their own customers.
But in practice, sorting it after 5 May will be a hassle. So if you can, check if you’ve got any old fivers (though you’re probably less likely to have a stash of them than old pound coins) and use them while you’re able to.
Here’s a timetable of all the forthcoming currency changes:
How notes and coins are changing
|28 March 2017||New ’12-sided’ £1 coin entered circulation|
|5 May 2017||Old ‘non-polymer’ £5 note withdrawn|
|15 October 2017||Old £1 coin withdrawn|
|September 2017 (Date TBC)||New polymer £10 note launched|
|2020 (Date TBC)||New polymer £20 note launched|
Should I continue to save in a piggybank?
Here at MoneySavingExpert.com we of course think saving’s a good thing (unless you’ve pricier debts elsewhere, that is).
Piggybanks can be a great way to show children how to save. And they’re often used by adults too – I’ve discovered a surprising number of my colleagues at MSE Towers still use one. Some said they’ve cherished their piggybanks since childhood and wanted to keep them, while others just use them as an easy way to gather change to pay for a pint of milk.
Yet everyone with a piggybank really should consider going the ‘whole hog’ and depositing their savings into a UK-protected bank or building society. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme now protects savers up to £85,000 should a bank or building society go bust, AND savings deposited in a top savings account will also earn interest.
What’s more, top kids’ savings accounts offer rates to compete with their adult counterparts (some regular-saver children’s accounts pay up to 4%). So if your child saves in a piggybank, it’s worth considering if you can extend their financial education by encouraging them to put their money in the bank and make it work.
Whatever the reason though, it seems piggybanks still have a place for many in today’s digital society. If you have one, just make sure you empty it of pound coins while you can still use them.
Previous posts by Karl Talbot
- Is it time to scrap the 1p coin? - November 22nd, 2016
- App-based banking – is this the future? - October 12th, 2016
- Shop at one of 15 Intu shopping centres, incl the Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Metrocentre? Get up to £60 cashback - September 13th, 2016
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