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1p and 2p copper coins and £50 notes could soon be phased out in the UK

Business Insider UK logoBusiness Insider UK 5 days ago Adam Bienkov

a close up of a coin: copper coins phased out © Provided by Business Insider Inc copper coins phased out
  • Small denomination coins could be phased out under plans being considered by the UK government.
  • 60% of small coins are used once before being put in piggy banks or thrown away.
  • £50 notes could also be phased out in plans to tackle money laundering.

LONDON - The UK government is considering phasing out 1p and 2p coins, as well as £50 notes, in a bid to tackle tax evasion, money laundering and waste.

The Chancellor Philip Hammond has begun consulting the British public about whether to phase out the denominations over the coming years as part of a move towards digital payments.

The Treasury published a "call for evidence" on the proposed changes on Tuesday, saying that currently most small denomination coins are only used once before being put in piggy banks or thrown away.

"Surveys suggest that six in ten 1p and 2p coins are used in a transaction once before they leave the cash cycle," the document states.

"They are either saved, or in 8% of cases are thrown away."

The government is also considering phasing out £50 notes due to their widespread use in money laundering.

"The £50 note is believed to be rarely used for routine purchases and is instead held as a store of value," according to the Treasury.

"There is also a perception among some that £50 notes are used for money laundering, hidden economy

activity, and tax evasion."

NOW SEE: Check your wallet! UK notes and coins that are worth a small fortune (Lovemoney)

Windfall in your wallet: Believe it or not, there are millions of notes and coins in circulation right now that are worth far more than their face value. As the new Jane Austen £10 enters circulation, there will inevitably be some valuable notes hitting the streets. We've rounded-up some of the most valuable UK examples, from the Kew Gardens 50p to some very rare new £5 notes, plus what to look out for on the new tenner. Everyday UK notes and coins worth a small fortune

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