Decimal Currency Act 1969, and the Decimal Currency Act 1967 and this Act may be cited together as the Decimal Currency Acts 1967 and 1969

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1969 c. 19


Decimal Currency Act 1969

1969 CHAPTER 19

An Act to make further provision in connection with the introduction of a decimal currency, and to impose restrictions on the melting or breaking of metal coins.

[16th May 1969]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Legal tender.

1 Legal tender.

(1) Coins made by the Mint in accordance with section 2 of the Decimal Currency Act 1967 or in accordance with the Coinage Acts 1870 to 1946 and not called in by proclamation under paragraph (5) of section 11 of the Coinage Act 1870 shall he legal tender as follows, that is to say—

(a ) coins of cupro-nickel or silver of denominations of more than ten new pence or two shillings, for payment of any amount not exceeding ten pounds;

(b ) coins of cupro-nickel or silver of denominations of not more than ten new pence or two shillings, for payment of any amount not exceeding five pounds;

(c ) coins of bronze, for payment of any amount not exceeding twenty new pence or four shillings.

(2) In the foregoing subsection ‘coins of bronze’ includes threepences of mixed metal.

(3) Subject to subsection (6) of this section and to any direction given by virtue of section 15(5) of this Act, coins of the old currency other than gold coins shall not be legal tender after the end of the transitional period.

(4) For the purpose of being used for any payment in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section a coin of either the old or the new currency may be treated as being a current coin of the other currency of equal value.

(5) The powers exercisable by proclamation by virtue of section 11 of the Coinage Act 1870 shall include power to direct that any coins of the new currency made by the Mint in accordance with section 2 of the Decimal Currency Act 1967 other than coins of cupro-nickel, silver or bronze shall be current and be legal tender for payment of any amount not exceeding such amount (not greater than ten pounds) as may be specified in the proclamation.

(6) For the purposes of this section silver coins of the Queen's Maundy money made in accordance with section 3 of the Coinage Act 1870 shall be treated as made in accordance with section 2 of the Decimal Currency Act 1967 and, if issued before the appointed day, shall be treated as denominated in the same number of new pence as the number of pence in which they were denominated.

S-2 Bills of exchange and promissory notes.

2 Bills of exchange and promissory notes.

(1) A bill of exchange or promissory note drawn or made on or after the appointed day shall be invalid if the sum payable is an amount of money wholly or partly in shillings or pence.

(2) A bill of exchange or promissory note for an amount wholly or partly in shillings or pence dated 15th February 1971 or later shall be deemed to have been drawn or made before 15th February 1971 if it bears a certificate in writing by a banker that it was so drawn or made.

S-3 Conversion of references to shillings and pence incertain instruments.

3 Conversion of references to shillings and pence incertain instruments.

(1) On and after the appointed day any reference to an amount of money in the old currency contained in an instrument to which this section applies shall, in so far as it refers to an amount in shillings or pence, be read as referring to the corresponding amount in the new currency calculated in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act.

(2) If a reference to an amount of money in the old currency contained in an instrument to which this section applies is altered so as to make it read as it would otherwise fall to be read in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, the alteration shall not affect the validity of the instrument and, in the case of a bill of exchange or promissory note, shall not be treated as a material alteration for the purposes of section 64 of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882 .

(3) This section applies to instruments of any of the following descriptions drawn, made or issued before the appointed day, namely—

(a ) cheques and other instruments to which section 4 of the Cheques Act 1957 applies;

(b ) bills of exchange other than cheques;

(c ) promissory notes;

(d ) money orders and postal orders;

(e ) any warrant issued by or on behalf of the Director of Savings for the payment of a sum of money;

(f ) any document issued under the authority of the Secretary of State for Social Services or the Ministry of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland which is intended to enable a person to obtain payment of the sum mentioned in the document but is not a bill of exchange;

(g ) any document not mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs which is intended to enable a person to obtain through a banker payment of any sum mentioned in the document.

S-4 Conversion of bank balances.

4 Conversion of bank balances.

(1) Where the amount of the balance standing to the credit or debit of an account at a bank on or after the appointed day is nat a whole number of pounds, so much of that amount as is in shillings or pence may be treated as the corresponding amount in the new currency calculated in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act.

(2) In this section ‘bank’ includes the National Savings Bank and any savings bank as defined in section 7(6) of the Payment of Wages Act 1960 .

S-5 Payment of certain periodical payments.

5 Payment of certain periodical payments.

(1) This section applies to any amount of money in the old currency payable on or after the appointed day as one of a series of payments of the same amount payable periodically, whether pursuant to an instrument or otherwise, not being an amount mentioned in subsection (3) of this section.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, where an amount of money to which this section applies is not a whole number of pounds, so much of it as is in shillings or pence may be paid by paying the corresponding amount in the new currency calculated in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act.

(3) This section does not apply to—

(a ) an amount payable to an employee or the holder of any office by way of wages, salary or other remuneration; or

(b ) the amount of any payment to which section 6 of this Act applies.

S-6 Payments under friendly society and industrialassurance company contracts.

6 Payments under friendly society and industrialassurance company contracts.

(1) This section applies to all payments payable to or by a registered friendly society or industrial assurance company under any friendly society or industrial assurance company contract made before the appointed day.

(2) The appropriate authority may make regulations with respect to the methods to be applied for the purpose of determining the amounts in the new currency payable in respect of payments to which this section applies that fall due on or after the appointed day.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) of this section, regulations under that subsection may, subject to subsection (4) of this section, authorise—

(a ) the adoption by registered friendly societies and industrial assurance companies of any prescribed scheme for securing that under contracts to which the scheme applies no amount other than a new halfpenny or a multiple thereof will be payable in respect of any payment to which this section applies that falls due as aforesaid; or

(b ) the adoption by any such society or company of any special scheme for that purpose which may, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, be approved by the appropriate authority.

(4) A scheme prescribed or approved in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section may include provision for securing that where any payments that are payable to the society or company under a friendly society or industrial assurance company contract to which the scheme applies are increased by virtue of the scheme, any benefits payable by the society or company under that contract which are referable to those payments are appropriately increased; but in relation to any scheme so prescribed that includes such provision, provision shall be made by regulations under subsection (2) of this section—

(a ) for securing that any person by whom any payments so increased are payable will, if he so requests, be notified of any corresponding increase in any such benefits; and

(b ) for affording to any such person who considers that the increase in the benefits is not fair in relation to the increase in the payments an opportunity of appealing to the appropriate authority; and

(c ) for enabling the appropriate authority on any such appeal to direct the society or company concerned to effect in the benefits to which the appeal relates and the like benefits payable under other like contracts an increase of such amount as may be specified in the direction instead of the increase complained of.

(5) Regulations made under subsection (2) of this section may provide for the making of alterations in the rules of registered friendly societies in connection with the adoption of schemes prescribed or approved in pursuance of subsection (3) of this section.

(6) The appropriate authority may make regulations for securing that, if at any time before the appointed day the halfpenny ceases to be legal tender, any payment payable to the society or company under a friendly society or industrial assurance company contract which is one of a series of payments payable periodically thereunder of an amount which, apart from the regulations, would be or include a halfpenny, shall be reduced or increased by a halfpenny in such a way that successive...

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