The Bank of England launches new Banknote Checking Scheme


NPW attended the launch of the Bank of England’s new Banknote Checking Scheme on 10 October. The Scheme is aimed at cash-handling businesses and promotes banknote checking at point of sale through targeted training. Its aim is to reduce the number of counterfeit notes being accepted and to reduce losses to businesses.

Any retailer or business can sign up as a supporter of the Banknote Checking Scheme by pledging support to a set of six guiding principles on an annual basis, to encourage increased banknote checking in a way that suits their business model. Supporters will have access to advice and a range of education and training materials to help shape banknote checking within their business. This includes leaflets, posters, online computer-based training, targeted advice and regular webinars, as well as updates on relevant banknote topics such as the issue of new-style banknotes and withdrawal of old-style banknotes.

The Scheme is a collaboration between the Bank of England and the Scheme’s seven strategic partners. These are the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Crimestoppers, National Crime Agency (NCA), National Pubwatch, Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) and Retailers Against Crime.

Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, said: “Retailers and other businesses are the front line of defence against counterfeiting. Counterfeit banknotes are only produced because criminals believe they will find somewhere to spend them and can do so without consequence. We are introducing the Banknote Checking Scheme to make this even more difficult. Don’t let counterfeit banknotes be a cost to your business, your customers or your reputation.”

The Bank of England works hard to make its banknotes more resilient against counterfeiting. One example of this is the move to printing the £5 and £10 notes on polymer. Although relatively rare, any counterfeit banknote is worthless. Businesses that do not carry out simple checks run the risk of being targeted by counterfeiters and suffering financial losses. In addition, passing on counterfeit banknotes to the public or other businesses carries the risk of reputational damage.
For more information, or if you are interested in registering your support for the Scheme please visit their website: Tel: 020 3461 7730 Email:

The six guiding principles of the Scheme are:
Your staff:
1. Are trained and check banknotes at point of sale;
2. Know what to do with a counterfeit banknote;
Your business:
3. Shares information with the Bank of England;
4. Promotes the Scheme;
5. Supports law enforcement activities; and
6. Appoints a single point of contact for the Scheme.