Subway reveals its staff have choice whether to reject Scottish banknotes

A major fast food outlet has revealed that its individual stores can refuse to accept Scottish bank notes.

Don Richardson outside the Warrington Subway store
Don Richardson outside the Warrington Subway store

Subway, which has around 50 stores in Scotland, said it had no policy on the issue after a Scot living in the north of England expressed anger at his local sandwich shop issuing a notice saying it will no longer accept notes from Scottish banks.

Don Richardson from Aberdeen, who has lived south of the border for 26 years, was shocked to find the branch of Subway in Birchwood, Warrington, would no longer accept the cash.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The latest refusal comes months after an MP lodged a bid at Westminster to make it legally binding for Scottish banknotes to be accepted across the UK.

The notice, placed recently in the store, said: “Due to the rise of fake bank notes in circulation, we are no longer able to accept any £50 notes, any type of Scottish or Irish notes.”

It added: “This is company policy, please do not be offended.”

Richardson said he had joked with the staff member behind the till that the company must surely accept Scottish notes in Scotland.

Richardson said: “When it’s a national network like this, which has sales in Scotland and plenty of stores in Scotland, it feels like an anti-Scotland stance.

“In 26 years of living in England, I have only had Scottish money rejected twice and both of those were in small shops.”

A spokeswoman for Subway said: “Every Subway store is owned and operated independently and, as such, acceptance of Scottish bank notes is down to the relevant franchise owner. We do not have a policy on this that franchise owners are required to follow. We have asked the franchise owner to amend the notice to ensure that it is clear that this is not a Subway policy.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Alistair Carmichael has lodged a Bill in the House of Commons to have Scottish banknotes accepted throughout the UK and to oblige businesses to accept them as payment.

He said: “It is truly bizarre that in 2019 we still witness UK businesses openly and systematically denying customers the use of Scottish notes. Subway is a large chain of shops. The fact that they feel able to operate a policy like this shows why the law has to change.”