Youth money thoughts

Anyone can learn about money.

Anyone can help anyone else learn.

Making mistakes doesn't mean you're hopeless.

Managing money is a lot about relationships & understanding other people.

Good financial education is not about turning people into more savvy consumers.

Good financial education starts with young people's interests and builds on their strengths.

Ideas for action

Your cash ain't nothin' but trash

“Sorry mate, I’ve only got a £20 note.” No problem, I’ve got change. Marc the Big Issue seller was happy to sell a magazine to a friendly-seeming stranger. He wasn’t happy when he tried to spend the note. It was a forgery, worth nothing. That was his day’s earnings gone.

Young people are great users of cash. Even so, they are not very likely to come across a forged note. They are relatively rare and don’t circulate for long. Just under 250,000 counterfeit £20 notes were taken out of circulation last year. Which sounds a lot, but not as a proportion of the 1.6 billion genuine £20 notes in circulation. Perhaps Marc was targeted as a vulnerable person, assumed to lack the confidence or knowledge to check a note.

Key things worth knowing about bank notes

  • What are you supposed to do, legally, if someone tries to give you a forged note, in change or for payment? Similarly, what is likely to happen to you if you try using one in a shop?
  • What are the security features signs of genuine £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes? How can you quickly identify one?

Answers to these are supplied in the Bank of England’s rather old-fashioned public information video, Take a closer look. It’s 15 minutes long and not very zappy. A good activity for groups of young people might be to distil the key information into a faster, slicker and more memorable format – a rap, a poster or whatever suits.

See a quick summary of the key points, below the video.

Summary of key points

It is a criminal offence to pass on or even hold onto a counterfeit note. If you have one, hand it to the police as soon as possible. You’ll get a receipt. If someone tries to give you one, explain that you think it is counterfeit, give the person a receipt and pass it to the police.

Each value note is slightly different but all have raised print that you can feel, a metallic thread, a watermark. precise print quality, a hologram, microlettering visible under a magnifying glass and a number that appears under ultra-violet light. The £20 and £50 notes also have a see-through register forming a £ symbol and the £50 has a motion thread woven into the paper.

All quite amazing. Much more detail at the Bank of England website.

 

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