Check your banknotes over the festive period

The Bank of England has urged retailers to take extra care with checking for forged banknotes over the busy Christmas period.

In the first half of the year, 230,000 counterfeit notes were removed from circulation. Failing to spot a fake bank note and accidentally passing it on not only costs retailers money, it could also have a damaging effect on the business’ reputation.

All genuine banknotes contain several security features and it is advised to check for more than one at a time. These include:

  • The watermark
  • The holograms on the £5, £10 and £20 notes
  • The metallic thread
  • The feel of the paper and the raised print
  • The motion thread on the £50 note

The Bank of England has produced a range of educational materials to keep retailers fully informed and help them train their staff.

The Take a Closer Look booklet provides retailers with a nine-point checklist to ensure a forged note will always be identified. This deterrent sticker warning customers of banknote checks can also be printed off and placed in store.

The Bank of England have also created the following video to help remind retailers how to detect counterfeits.


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