In the first half of 2023 only a small fraction, typically less than 0.0031% of banknotes were counterfeit, that is less than 1 in 30,000 banknotes. Counterfeit notes are created illegally and are worthless. You can identify them by following our guide on how to check your banknotes.
These charts show the number we receive each year and their notional face value (they are worthless). Counterfeiting has substantially reduced since 2019 as a result of a combination of factors such as the introduction of more robust polymer banknotes, the subsequent withdrawal of the older paper designs, successful police action on the sources and distribution of counterfeits and the general move to electronic payments.
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.