In 2021 only a small fraction, typically less than 0.0022% of banknotes were counterfeit, that is less than 1 in 40,000 banknotes. Counterfeit notes are created illegally and are worthless. You can identify them by following our guide on how to check your banknotes.
Counterfeit notes are removed from circulation by banks and the police and are sent to us for analysis. These charts show the number we receive each year and their notional face value (they are worthless).
Number of counterfeit notes discovered
This chart shows how many counterfeit notes we receive and their denomination. The figures include both current and old banknotes series. We have rounded the numbers to the nearest 1,000. Data includes counterfeits of both current and old series notes. Lower transactional usage of cash and the increased robustness of the polymer designs acted to reduce counterfeiting during 2021.