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Bank of England:

English banknotes aren’t legal tender in Scotland. Scottish notes aren’t legal tender in England or Scotland.

Committee of Scottish Bankers:

Scottish Bank notes are not Legal Tender, not even in Scotland. In fact, no banknote whatsoever (including Bank of England notes!) qualifies for the term 'legal tender' north of the border and the Scottish economy seems to manage without that legal protection.

Both pages also go on to argue that legal tender has little practical significance.

But people do in fact attach some significance to this, with the result that Scottish banknotes are less widely accepted than they would otherwise be.

And so, why does the UK not simply declare/legislate that these notes be granted the status of legal tender? What are the costs of doing so?


A similar situation also exists with Singapore and Brunei currency (which are interchangeable), with the similar result that Brunei currency is often not accepted in Singapore. See e.g. this 2017 story.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure there is much economic benefit to doing so and therefore the reasons may be symbolic or political. Your claim of a benefit "But people do in fact attach some significance to this, with the result that Scottish banknotes are less widely accepted than they would otherwise be." is very strong. So do you have some evidence or citation to back it up? The would he rather helpful here. $\endgroup$ – BB King Apr 2 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know if there've been actually empirical studies on the acceptability of Scottish banknotes in say England, but anecdotes are certainly easy to find. E.g. 2016 Sun story with video where a London McDonald's refuses to accept a Scottish £5 note and Guardian discussion: Why is it that English shopkeepers often refuse to accept Scottish banknotes? and $\endgroup$ – user20311 Apr 2 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Any foreign XYZ banknotes that can be easily trade, trustworthy and fetch AWESOME margin, people will "buy it". Otherwise you will see the opposite. Historian do find some border trading city use multiple country currency. $\endgroup$ – mootmoot Apr 2 at 17:05

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