18 September 2020
The Royal Mint will not produce any new 2p or £2 coins for circulation for a decade, according to a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) which suggests there has been a dramatic decrease in coin usage in the UK.
The recently published report issued by the National Audit Office (NAO), a body which measures the effectiveness of public bodies, suggests there are around 26 times more £2 coins in circulation than are needed and eight times more 2p coins, meaning the Royal Mint does 'not envisage producing any new 2p or £2 coins for at least 10 years.'
The decline in coin usage is thought to have been accelerated by the Covid19 pandemic, with many retail outlets encouraging contactless payments.
However, the report also suggests businesses and consumers hoarded coins in the early months of the pandemic, and states that: 'To meet this increased demand, from April the Mint pulled forward its manufacturing schedule for the year, and over the summer HM Treasury ordered the Mint to manufacture 60 million additional 1p coins.'
Despite the reduction in the use of cash, the demand for banknotes has increased over the past 20 years.
The report states: 'According to Bank figures, in July 2020 the number of notes in circulation reached a record high of 4.4 billion, with a monetary value of £76.5 billion… Notes are increasingly being used as a store of value and therefore the demand for notes has been less affected by the decline in the use of cash for transactions.'