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AIBU to think that sterling is sterling- not "foreign currency"?

(58 Posts)
carabos Fri 29-Mar-13 15:33:37

I went to Belfast for a meeting yesterday. I bought a cup of tea in the airport while waiting to fly back last night. I was given a £10 sterling note issued by Ulster Bank and a £5 sterling note issued by Bank of Ireland in my change. I thought nothing of it and put them in my purse.

Today, I was told by Tesco that I couldn't use the notes in the store as "they aren't legal tender, they are foreign currency". When I pointed out they aren't foreign currency, they are sterling notes, they responded "they aren't the same sterling. They are Irish sterling". confused.

When I pointed out that Ireland uses the Euro, not sterling, so they couldn't be Irish, they asked where I had got them. I said "Belfast". They said, patiently because by now they think I'm an idiot, "that's in Ireland". confused

I said that Belfast is in the island of Ireland, it's not in Ireland, it's in the UK. The Tesco chap said "whatever, it's still foreign currency".

AIBU to think that I'm right here?

squeakytoy Fri 29-Mar-13 15:34:52

You both sound confused!

LittleBairn Fri 29-Mar-13 15:35:32

Did you ask to speak to the manager?
This used to happen to me with Scottish bank notes in London pissed me off no end but I would fight my corner.

FoofFighter Fri 29-Mar-13 15:36:02

I have the same problem when I go home to visit in England from Scotland.e Hav had so many rows about it in shops that I now wait to take money out of the atm till I get there hmm

Omnishambolic Fri 29-Mar-13 15:36:30

You're right they are sterling, so not foreign currency.

You're wrong if you think (you don't actually say this though!) that Tescos in England have to accept them - they can, but they don't have to.

UseHerName Fri 29-Mar-13 15:36:36

im from belfast-this gets right on my nerves!! grin i have had many a show down about this

UseHerName Fri 29-Mar-13 15:37:23

so ynbu wink

pinkyredrose Fri 29-Mar-13 15:37:32

You are right OP.

squeakytoy Fri 29-Mar-13 15:37:54

"Legal Tender & British Coins
Are Scottish & Northern Irish notes legal tender? In short 'No' these notes are not legal tender; only Bank of England notes are legal tender but only in England and Wales"

Fuckity Fri 29-Mar-13 15:38:24

He's an idiot. How can it be foreign when its legal UK sterling cash money?

scaevola Fri 29-Mar-13 15:39:29

Have a look at what the aback of England has to say about this (you have to scroll down a bit).

By strict definition, neither Scottisn nor NI bank notes are legal tender in England and Wales, though they can be used with consent of both parties to the transaction. Same for Channel Islands notes too, I think.

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 15:39:56

in England, a person does not have to take non-English notes.

scaevola Fri 29-Mar-13 15:40:11

'aback' ?? "Bank"

carabos Fri 29-Mar-13 15:40:55

squeaky so if not legal tender, are these notes worthless? I'm assuming there isn't an inter-sterling exchange rate?

And I'm right that Belfast isn't in Ireland aren't I? Aren't I? confused

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 15:41:53

There are all sorts of quirks with legal tender - eg copper coins, a shopkeeper is only obliged to toake 20p worth of them!

Also, giving change isn't obligatory.

And, here's a good one, those shops with signs that say 'we don't accept £50 notes' ? they have to if the goods exceed £50, but not obliged to if its £49.99

>mine of useless information<

scaevola Fri 29-Mar-13 15:43:41

They are not worthless, they have face value in the issuing home nation. And you stand a pretty good chance of having them accepted in the other home nations. Or you could see if RBS will exchange at a counter.

BackforGood Fri 29-Mar-13 15:48:34

what Omni and other said.

carabos Fri 29-Mar-13 15:49:06

So, shops etc aren't obliged to take them in England. Another bank may or may not exchange them for Bank of England notes. If the bank wont change them and shops wont accept them, then they are only of use to me in NI, meaning that in effect i paid £20 for a cup of tea shock? They are sterling, so not "foreign currency" and Belfast isn't in Ireland?


squeakytoy Fri 29-Mar-13 15:53:09

"And I'm right that Belfast isn't in Ireland aren't I? Aren't I?"

Well... depends who you talk to really. It is in Northern Ireland. So it is part of Ireland and people from there are Irish.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 29-Mar-13 15:53:12

Belfast is not in the Republic Of Ireland but is on the island of Ireland. We have the Euro (formally the Punt) and many border shops run a € and £ till.
Legally any English or Welsh business can refuse to accept Scottish or NI sterling.

Bue Fri 29-Mar-13 15:55:04

No Belfast isn't in the Republic of Ireland. Depending on who you talk to, it may be Ireland though! grin

HollyBerryBush Fri 29-Mar-13 15:56:10

A bank will swap them 1 for 1 with no exchange rate.

Personally I refuse to accept Scottish or NI notes purely because of the aggro when trying to pass them on.

You find they are more readily accepted in areas where there is a lot of trade eg Liverpool or Southampton because of the ferry services.

carabos Fri 29-Mar-13 15:58:03

baby I know lots of people in NI and all the ones who were born there describe themselves as British. If you're born in NI you're not legally Irish surely? Like being born in Scotland, you might describe yourself as Scottish, but your nationality is British surely?

HesterShaw Fri 29-Mar-13 15:58:27

Of course you are right!

Sterling is sterling.

You're not trying to fob them off with Turkish lira.

Chiggers Fri 29-Mar-13 15:58:43

Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland and Northern Bank all deal with sterling. Bank of Ireland, obviously deals with both sterling and euro because they have branches here in NI and also down south in the republic.

As long as it says sterling, it is legal tender all around the UK, regardless of whoever says it isn't. The unfortunate thing is that any business can refuse those bank notes if they wish, although it's a bit daft if it's the same currency as the UK.

Northern Ireland is a British constitute, so therefore will be dealing in the same currency as mainland Britain, and anyone who can't understand that needs educating.

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