We all hate banks right now. I personally have hated them for ever as an institution that regards itself above institutions, but that’s me. But here’s something I didn’t know about counterfeit coins and the banks’ role in their circulation.

We ran a news piece on this subject in the last issue, pointing out that the number of fake £1 coins was rising. This prompted a robust response from Maclean Dorward, who has run GT Coventry in Kirkcaldy for seven years.
He writes: “Nobody at the bank counts their coins. It is all weighed. It is illegal to give out counterfeit coins and yet the banks get away with it because there is no proof. While getting change from the bank I have received damaged coins, foreign coins and counterfeit coins mixed in. I think we as shopkeepers should stand at the counter and count out every bag’s contents.” I queried this with him as I believed that machines were sensitive enough to be able to sort the fakes.

He replied: “My experience at the bank is that these scales are not as exact as they would have us believe.” And he adds that it is also due to counterfeiters striving to get the weights accurate to make the coins suitable for vending machines.

What’s your experience on this?