The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 39, September 25, 2016, Article 40


This article from the Scotsman discusses an English McDonald's franchise's decision to no longer accept Scottish banknotes. We've covered this issue in The E-Sylum before - it's an issue which contiues to rankle the Scots. -Editor

Scottinsh banknote article Fast food chain McDonald’s has been condemned for a decision to ban Scottish banknotes from a string of branches south of the Border.

A franchisee who owns ten branches of the burger restaurant in the Lincolnshire area has told staff to refuse to take Scottish notes, blaming problems with counterfeit notes. But critics have accused Martin Cuthbert of being “anti-Scottish” and urged him to train staff to deal with fraudulent notes rather than inconvenience customers.

The new policy came to light when the family of an English schoolgirl tried to spend money sent to her by Scottish relatives in the restaurant in Sleaford – one of the McDonald’s branches run by Mr Cuthbert.

The 16-year-old and her father Mike Gregson tried to pay for their meal with a Scottish bank note given to her as a gift from relatives in Aberdeen for passing her exams.

Mr Gregson said: “The worry is if I hadn’t swapped notes and my daughter had tried and been refused she would have been distraught.”

It is believed the policy was brought in by Mr Cuthbert around a month ago at all of his branches of the store. It comes eight years after a McDonald’s franchisee in Wales imposed a similar ban on accepting Scottish notes. Meanwhile, earlier this year, staff at retailer TK Maxx also refused to accept Scottish notes at a store in ­Milton Keynes.

Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for health and sport in the Scottish Government, criticised the move.

The MSP for Dundee City East said: “I am extremely disappointed to learn of this decision taken by the franchisee of ten McDonald’s branches. While individual businesses do have the ability to not accept certain notes, I would expect businesses on all parts of the UK to recognise Scottish banknotes as legal currency and to accept these as they would English banknotes. I would urge the owner of these branches to seriously rethink this policy.”

To read the complete article, see:
Scottish banknotes banned from McDonald’s franchise (

Not surprisingly, a Scotsman editorial blasts the policy. -Editor

Bank of Scotland notes The stereotypical Scot is canny, and not easily parted from their hard-earned cash. It’s true that most probably resent that “mean Jock” label, but what’s even more infuriating is having our money refused when we are trying to spend it.

The status quo has been operating pretty successfully for hundreds of years. Yes, we’ve all heard the argument that Scottish bank notes are not actually legal tender. Apparently they are legal currency – approved by the UK parliament – but not legal tender. Not even in Scotland. In fact, no banknote whatsoever, even a Bank of England one, qualifies for the term “legal tender” north of the Border. But the Bank of Scotland has been issuing its own notes since it was founded 1695, with the Royal Bank of Scotland following suit in 1727 and then the Clydesdale a century later, in 1838.

The vast majority of establishments in the rest of the UK are happy to take our cash. For some, it is an inconvenience, because customers may object to receiving Scottish notes as change. But the worst that can happen in those circumstances is that the notes are later deposited with the rest of that day’s takings. The latest refusal to accept Scottish bank-notes does not reflect well on McDonald’s, even if a franchise holder is the culprit. The chain which trades under the most Scottish of names should have a quiet word in his ear.

To read the complete article, see:
Leader comment: McDonald’s should end refusal of Scottish banknotes (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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