Bank of England order sale of £50 note tissues to stop

The Bank of England has banned a gift stop selling novelty tissues which look like £10 and £50 notes – in case people try to pass them off as real money.

The floppy pocket tissues featuring the designs of £10, £20 and £50, notes are being sold on eBay in packs of ten for 99p.

But stuffy bosses at the Bank of England have ordered gift shop Bright Ideas to remove them after claiming they breach forgery laws.

Sarah Neale, who runs the shop in Melton Mowbray, Leics., started flogging the fun tissue notes online at the beginning of this month but was ordered to scrap them last week.

Sarah, 50, said: “It’s just ridiculous. I was gobsmacked.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the email.

“We said in the title that they were novelty bank note tissues and stated they were not real currency.

“It’s obvious that they’re novelty tissues.

“It’s just so stupid. They don’t look real at all – they are not even the right size. They are very thin paper tissues. It is such a big surprise to us.

“I was told our listing wasn’t against eBay’s policy but they told us they had been instructed by the Bank of England to remove them.

“Surely the Bank of England has better things to do than this.”

The online auction site was contacted by the Bank of England and the product was removed from sale as it breached its policy on counterfeit money and stamps.

Sarah, who has been running the shop with her husband for five years, added: “Quite a few of our customers have commented on it.

“We’ve even had one regular customer who sent us an email asking if he could pay for a little figurine with the paper tissue money.

“Other companies sell beach towels in the same design and serviettes – they don’t look real at all. They are so small.

“They are three ply, single-sided tissues. There’s no way someone could get away with passing them off as real.”

The tissue bank notes measure the same as the originals but are only printed on one side.

The shop only started stocking them at the start of March and have only got five packets left out of 36.

They are still on sale in the shop as the Bank of England has not directed them to be removed from sale.

A Bank of England spokesman said: “Under section 18(1) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 it is a criminal offence for any person, without the prior consent in writing of the Bank of England, to reproduce on any substance whatsoever, and whether or not on the correct scale, any Bank of England banknote or any part of a Bank of England banknote.

“The images on the tissue products in question fall within the Act, and because we have not given permission for our copyrighted images to be used in this way we have asked eBay to remove them from their site.”

Where will you be next year?

It’s hard to predict the future, but the past is already set in stone – there for us to review whenever we want to. When you look back, it’s easy to see how your decisions worked out: you can see which ones you regret, which ones really paid off and which ones didn’t really make much of a difference.

With that in mind, says a press release from financial solutions company Think Money, a thorough review of the last 12 months can be an excellent planning tool when it comes to figuring out your financial approach for 2012.

There are many ways to do that. Some people use budget planners; others make a point of keeping receipts and invoices; still others take a ‘combination’ approach to reviewing their finances.

However you choose to look back at 2011’s financial decisions, the important thing is that you learn from them. If you see any indications that you could have handled your finances better last year, how can you apply that understanding to this year? How can you make sure you learn from any mistakes you’ve made, rather than running the risk of repeating them?

Turning to debt problems specifically, the press release stresses the importance of taking the right approach to budgeting and debt management. One thing that can help here is getting some professional debt advice. A debt adviser can help you go over your finances and suggest ways of tackling any issues you’re facing – and the sooner you face up to those issues and find out what guidance a professional can offer you, the less time your problems should have to turn into something worse.

Finally, some generic advice. Whatever situation someone’s in, setting up direct debits can be a good way to make sure payments are made on time, avoiding the late payment charges and possible damage to their credit rating which could otherwise ensue.

As for people who feel they’re comfortably in control of their finances, it helps to bear in mind that no-one knows what the future will bring. You may have spare money on a monthly basis today, but that could change, however unappealing that thought may be. One tried-and-tested way of preparing for the future is to put money aside whenever possible, creating a ‘safety net’ that could make all the difference if your finances take a turn for the worse further down the line.