Only a small fraction, typically less than 0.02% of banknotes are counterfeit, that is less than 1 in 5,000 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. Discoveries of counterfeit £5 and £10 notes in 2017 to 2019 were almost entirely counterfeits of paper banknotes which are no longer legal tender. We have rounded the numbers to the nearest 1,000.