The current £1 coin will not become worthless after it is replaced and ceases to be legal tender in October, the Treasury clarified today.
It follows Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke being reported by the Financial Times yesterday as saying: “You have until autumn to spend your round pounds or exchange them for the edgy, new version at your bank.”
In fact, people will be able to exchange the current coins for the new ones at most banks after they can no longer be used as money.
The Royal Bank of Scotland said today there would be no time limit on its customers being able to pay in the old coins.
Lloyds Banking Group, which includes the Bank of Scotland, said it would also continue to exchange old coins for new ones for its customers.
A new 12-sided £1 coin will be introduced on 28 March because the current one is among the most commonly faked currency.
The Royal Mint said it is the most secure coin in the world.
New security features include a hologram-like image that changes from a "£" symbol to the number "1" when the coin is seen from different angles.
It also has micro-lettering and milled edges.
The Treasury estimates there are 433 million £1 coins in people's pockets and homes.
A Treasury spokesman said: “If you have a round £1 coin, you are encouraged to spend it before 15 October.
“After that, you can still exchange your old coins at most high street banks and, for those who do, the Royal Mint recommends that people consult their bank directly.”
Advice from the Royal Mint states: "Following de-monetisation, the current round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account, either business or personal, at most high street banks including RBS, NatWest, Ulster, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide, Clydesdale, Yorkshire Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and The Post Office.
"It may be possible to exchange £1 coins at these banks and the Post Office provided you hold an account with them.
"Specific arrangements may vary from bank to bank, including deposit limits."