Retailers in Ireland will be advised to round up or down to the nearest five cent this week, as the country becomes the latest in EU to phase out one cent and two cent coins.

A trial conducted in Wexford revealed that 85% of consumers and 100% of retailers who expressed an opinion wanted ‘rounding’ rolled out nationally.

From Wednesday 28 October, rounding will be conducted on a voluntary basis and will apply only to cash payments, but the total amount of any bill will be rounded down or up to the nearest five cent.

Six EU member states have already adopted a symmetrical rounding policy: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Sweden.

Ronnie O’Toole of the Irish Central Bank said: “The reaction so far to Rounding has been fantastic. As a country we are good at making changes like this.

“We migrated to the euro ahead of most other countries, and the indications so far are that consumers and retailers alike will embrace Rounding.”

The Bank of England said there were no plans to withdraw 1p or 2p coins in the UK.

But Leicestershire Spar retailer Raj Aggarwal told the BBC Today Programme that he would welcome rounding in the UK.