There is £43,586,400 of forged currency at large in the UK according to a Freedom of Information request made to The Royal Mint by payment solutions provider CardSave. This figure represents 2.86 per cent of the 1.524 billion pound coins currently in circulation in the UK.
The Royal Mint has been surveying the number of counterfeit coins annually since 2002, when fakes made up 0.92 per cent of all pound coins in circulation. Over the past decade this number has increased by almost 2 per cent. While the number of forged coins in circulation today has decreased slightly since 2011, the total figure remains high.
of the Freedom of Information (FOI) request can be seen in the table below:
Percentage of counterfeit pound coins in circulation:
CardSave CEO Clive Kahn believes these figures highlight the importance of card payment services for businesses.
“Banks and card issuers have put measures in place to protect the public and businesses against card fraud, and these are improving all of the time. However, it’s much harder for merchants, especially small businesses, to protect against taking fake coinage, and it seems the likelihood of receiving such money is still high.”
The Royal Mint has stated that it is working closely with the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the cash handling industry to maximise efforts to identify and withdraw counterfeits from circulation. It does not believe that any other coins are counterfeited and so does not conduct a survey into other denominations.
Neither businesses nor individuals are compensated for counterfeit money returned to The Royal Mint.