THE OLD pound coin will cease to be legal tender in just a couple of days.

But many shopkeepers will continue to accept the round coins – as long as the banks keep taking them in.

The old coins, which first came into circulation in 1983, are being replaced by a 12-sided alternative. The new pound coin has been introduced in a bid to beat forgers.

The older round-sided coins will cease to be legal tender from Sunday, October 15.

Whether they accept pound coins after this is up to individual banks and building societies – but most, including Nationwide and the Post Office, have said that they will continue to accept deposits of the old coins from existing customers until further notice.

Many Swindon shopkeepers said they planned to accept the old coinage for the foreseeable future, as long as it is accepted by their businesses’ banks.

Ilpa Patel, owner of Victoria News, said that the move would help those who may not have been able to take coin stashes to the bank. “It’s part of the service,” she said.

Jessie Dennis, owner of High Street cake shop GlamoRose Cakes, which next month celebrates its fifth birthday, agreed: “I like to make people’s lives as easy as possible.”

The Pantry’s Wanda Hawkins said she planned to accept the old pound coins until she could no longer bank them. “Until the coins go out completely, I won’t worry about it,” she said. “I’m still getting the old pound coins given to me by the bank.”

The businessowners’ comments mirror those made by shopkeeper group the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents 170,000 firms across the country.

A spokesman said: “Shopkeepers will not want to let their loyal customers down by saying they cannot pay with a round pound if they do not have any change.”

The organisation said it wanted a “transition period”, during which businesses could accept the old coins and bank them.

Poundland said it planned to continue to accept the old coins.

Barry Williams, managing director of Poundland, said: “Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office will come as good news.”

Tesco will accept the old coins next week – but will then review the policy.