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Bank of England launches new initiative to fight counterfeiting

Categories : Cash generates security, Cash is trust
October 30, 2017
Tags : Cash recycling, Counterfeiting, Fraud, Retailers, United Kingdom
The Bank of England is seeking to enforce the detection of counterfeit banknotes through the Banknote Checking Scheme. This initiative is designed to strengthen the cooperation between retailers and the central bank to identify counterfeit notes.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

On October 10th, the central bank of England (BoE) introduced a new initiative to reduce the number of counterfeit banknotes accepted by retailers. The programme – named Banknote Checking Scheme – aims to promote banknote checking and authentication at points of sale, which are considered the “front line of defence”.

Indeed, businesses and retailers represent an ideal point of entry to introduce counterfeit banknotes in the system as these are not systematically authenticated by machines. As a result, the BoE decided to focus on educating staff, notably through free training offered to participating businesses. In addition, the central bank also released training materials such as leaflets, posters and webinars that guide users through simple and effective authentication steps, including the identification of visual and tactile identifiers.

This BoE initiative will encourage contacts between the issuing authority and retailers. Indeed, the bank allocated a point of contact to each participating business to strengthen collaboration and allow for better exchange of information. Both parties will benefit from this partnership as retailers will be trained to detect counterfeits and how to handle situations whereby they should encounter a fake note, whereas the central bank will have a chance to know more about current practices used by fraudsters by collecting samples and testimonials reported by staff members.

Between the end of 2016 and June 2017, no less than 237,000 fake banknotes worth £4.8 million were removed from circulation in the UK. The £20 note is the most targeted as it is the most frequently used by consumers. These figures are proof that the current detection system is already extremely efficient as all these banknotes were often removed before being used in a transaction. Thanks to this initiative, these figures are expected to improve even further.

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