Tesco has joined a group of businesses who announce that they will continue accepting the old £1 coin after they cease to be considered as legal tender on Sunday.
The biggest supermarket of Britain confirmed the announcement after small firms urged for a “short transition period” before the round pound permanently disappears from the high street.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has described the transition to the new 12-sided coins as “fairly short” – amid concerns that many shoppers will be caught out at tills across the nation.
Everything that you need to know regarding the new £1
500 million round pounds are estimated to still be in circulation, and some rail ticket machines and supermarket trolleys may not be prepared in time for the switch.
Tesco stated: “We’ve been updating our systems ready for the new pound coins, but to help customers who still have the old coins, we’ll continue to accept round pounds at our tills and self-service machines for an additional week.”
Mike Cherry, the FSB national chairman, stated: “Small businesses have embraced the new pound coin as an invaluable way to reduce counterfeits.
“Many have modified coin-operated equipment while others have separated out millions of old coins to be melted down.
“But the changeover period has been fairly short. While no business is obliged to accept the old coins beyond the deadline, it would help if small firms knew they were allowed a short transition period to collect the old coins if they wish to and are willing to bank them – but not give out to customers.
“This would provide a useful community service, allowing customers a few weeks to get rid of the final few pound coins in circulation.”
Some retailers have announced that they will do just that – with Poundland confirming that more than 850 of its stores will keep accepting old coins until the 31st of October.
Post offices and banks will also accept deposits that are containing old £1 coins until further notice.
Since its launch in 1983, the round pound has been heavily counterfeited, and its replacement was introduced in March, for the first time.
On Monday, the Treasury was determined that consumers should begin spending or swapping their old coins immediately.
Adam Lawrence, the chief executive and deputy master of the Royal Mint, stated: “The round pound has been in circulation for over 30 years but, as the deadline approaches, we are keen to encourage everyone to track down their final coins and use them.”