The Bank of England is encouraging retailers to check all banknotes in the run up to the festive season.

It warns that with Christmas coming and retailers potentially employing temporary staff, it is important to check if all notes are genuine.

Security features to watch for:

  • The watermark
  • Holograms on the £5, £10 and £20 notes
  • The metallic thread
  • Feel of the paper and the raised print
  • Motion thread on the £50 note

Bank of England banknote directorate Lucy Dennett said: “The chance of counterfeit notes being passed can increase in the Christmas period, when many retailers are busier and take on new staff. We are continually working to ensure our notes are secure and to help people understand how to check notes and what they should do if a counterfeit is discovered.”

According to Bank of England statistics, around 230,000 counterfeit notes were removed from circulation in the first half of 2014, relative to the three billion genuine notes in the system.