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market research on LOOSE CHANGE

©2017 Hanuman et al

We asked 2000 people how much spare change they had.

46% of them had exactly 46p... Strange but True!

Money has been less used recently, given the pandemic. Many people have spent less due to staying at home more often. But when people do spend, shops have encouraged the use of contactless card in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.


With cash used less frequently, money is currently languishing around in millions of homes right across the country. Many people may not realise how much they actually have in loose change until it is time to count it all up. Then, they may get a shock about the value of the coins in their back pocket. Figures from UK Finance have shown the British public are in fact sitting on piles of loose change which are worth an estimated £50million. This is a staggering amount which shows the cash held by people right across the country not currently being used.

The research from the body showed that due to COVID-19 related lockdowns, people have held onto their cash for three times longer than before. When people receive coins, many are ending up storing them at home, rather than spending or donating them.

This is particularly the case when it comes to one type of money: coins. Lower denomination coins currently come in one pence, two pence, five pence and 10 pence pieces. More than half of those surveyed said they usually leave this type of change at home.

The use of “larger” amounts of coins such as 20 pence and 50 pence pieces, as well as £1 coins is likely to be more widespread as they are arguably easier to use given the prices of items within shops, markets and other forms of purchasing across the country.

But as Britons are not putting these coins to any particular use, leaving them at home, they are now being encouraged to actually take action on the matter and make the money, however small, work a bit harder than it does in the back of a forgotten drawer.


The Charities Aid Foundation recently found that over half the charities they spoke to last year had seen a drop in donations. At the same time, though, some 39 percent of charities surveyed reported an increase in demand for help from individuals who are in need, especially at this challenging time.

UK Finance has therefore urged Britons to consider donating any accumulated loose change they have from the home. It is thought this could be a real benefit to charities. But it could also reduce the need to mint new coins - something which is good for the environment in terms of production as well as distribution.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance at UK Finance, commented on the matter, saying: “Putting your pennies in a charity box is a great way to help those in need. The public has stored over £50 million of loose change over the course of the pandemic and as the UK is opening up post-lockdown every pound and penny that can be spared for worthy causes will make a tremendous difference.”

Coins in the UK are made by the Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, South Wales. It describes itself as the “largest and most technically advanced minting facility in the world”. The Royal Mint also produces coins and blanks for in excess for 30 countries. It is estimated more than 3.3billion coins are made by the Mint each year. 

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