Shops to 'ignore' Royal Mint deadline on old pound coins

A warning has been issued over the potential 'chaos' that could ensue if shops do not meet a strict deadline to take old pound coins out of circulation.

The old £1 coins will no longer be legal tender after the deadline for using them in transactions passes on Sunday. Shops are meant to have returned any excess coins to banks, having stopped distributing them to customers.

Yet the Federation of Small Businesses has caused controversy by claiming that smaller shops are providing a 'community service' by continuing to accept them.

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Discount chain Poundland is also still accepting them, as over 500million remain in circulation.

The Royal Mint wants a 'clean break' to make the transition easier for banks.

From October 15, shops are banned from handing the old coins to customers, but could still legally accept them even though they are advised to decline them.

The Federation has argued that the changeover period since the new coin was introduced in March was 'fairly short' and that loyal customers could be left disappointed if their currency was refused.

Further issues with the transition came to light after supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury's revealed that they had not completed modifications to all of their trolleys to accept the new coins.