02 May 2019
Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed plans to 'safeguard the future of cash' quashing rumours that 1p and 2p coins were set to be scrapped…
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has confirmed that there will be no changes to the UK's current coins and notes, with all denominations – from the penny to the £50 note – staying in circulation.
Hammond announced plans to safeguard access to cash by establishing a new group chaired by the Treasury. Bringing together regulators and the Bank of England, the group will set strategy, coordinate work to support nationwide access and help safeguard cash for those who need it.
Philip Hammond said:
'Technology has transformed banking for millions of people, making it easier and quicker to carry out financial transactions and pay for services. But it’s also clear that many people still rely on cash and I want the public to have choice over how they spend their money.'
According to The Treasury, around 2.2 million people in the UK are still reliant on cash, with the elderly, vulnerable and those in rural communities likely to be hardest hit by a decline.
To make sure cash continues to be available to those who need it, the Government will:
- Establish the new Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group (JACS) – chaired by the Treasury and bringing together the regulators and Bank of England – to provide comprehensive oversight of the UK’s cash system.
- Support the Bank of England’s work to develop a new wholesale cash distribution system to ensure cash is being distributed as needed across the country.
- Develop a new coin checking and validation framework to remove counterfeits from circulation and stop them from ending up in people’s pockets.
- Reiterate that there are no plans to alter the make-up of coins or notes and that current cash denominations will continue in its current form.
- Continue to support new digital methods of payment while safeguarding access to cash for those who need it.
Rumours that the country's copper coins were set to be scrapped began after the 2018 Spring Statement when work to modernise UK currency was announced.
Natalie Ceeney CBE, Chair of the Access to Cash review, said:
'Cash use is falling rapidly, but digital payments don’t yet work for everyone. We need to safeguard the use of cash for those who need it, and at the same time work hard to ensure that everyone can participate in the digital economy. If we sleepwalk into a cashless society, millions of people will be left behind. I’m delighted to see the Government taking a leadership role on this critical issue - and look forward to seeing action as a result.'
How much is the Kew Gardens 50p coin worth? Find out in our coin guide…