New pound coin, it’s all change

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

New pound coin: Changes coming into effect on March 28
New pound coin: Changes coming into effect on March 28

Related tags Winston churchill

A number of changes to the UK’s currency are coming into effect in the next few weeks.

On Tuesday 28 March the current £1 coin will be replaced with a new design for the first time in more than 30 years.

Pubs will still be able to accept both coins from customers until October 15 2017, however, after this date licensees will be under no obligation to accept the round pound coin.

The government is asking businesses to return old and new £1 coins in separate bags, to enable banks to process coins during the co-circulation period between 28 March to 15 October 2017.

Pub equipment such as slot machines and dispensing machines may be able to accept or dispense both £1 coins. But the government has advised publicans to check with their suppliers.

The new coin, which has high tech security features, is being introduced to make it harder for counterfeiters to copy legal tender. It’s a big problem and government data shows that around one out of every 30 £1 coins in circulation is fake. The aim is to reduce the costs of counterfeiting to businesses and the taxpayer.


From 16 October onwards all publicans’ coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new £1 coin.

Licensees should not distribute the round £1 coin, and do not have to accept it.

The round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account at most high street banks and the Post Office.

Old £5 note goes out of circulation

On 5 May 2017 paper £5 notes will cease to be legal tender and should no longer be accepted.

If, after May 2017, you find you still have some paper £5 notes you will be able to exchange them at the Bank of England.

The new polymer £5 note was issued on 13 September 2016​, features Sir Winston Churchill and is 125mm x 65mm, while the current paper £5 note features Elizabeth Fry and is 135mm x 70mm.

Polymer notes are cleaner, safer and stronger than paper notes. The new notes will be smaller than the current notes. 

New £10 note introduced this summer

The new polymer £10 note will be issued in summer 2017. It will feature Jane Austen and will be 132mm x 69mm. The current paper £10 note features Charles Darwin and is 142mm x 75mm.

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