Bank denies fake £20 came from cashpoint
A BANK is wrangling with a businessman who claims he withdrew a counterfeit £20 note from one of its cash machines.
Paul Scoplin drew £600 out of a NatWest ATM on High Street, Kingswood, before popping over the road to deposit it into an HSBC account.
Mr Scoplin handed over the money to a cashier and as it was counted and the notes were checked, one in particular raised suspicion.
The 47-year-old, of Trumpet Hill, Kingswood, said: "I took the cash over to HSBC straight away and they flagged up one of the notes.
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"It was slightly darker in colour than the rest of them. If you only had that note in your hand, it would have been hard to tell.
"They said they would normally confiscate a note like that, but I told them I had just got it from Natwest over the road and I wanted to take it back there.
"When I spoke to NatWest all they wanted to do was tell me how it was 'impossible' for a counterfeit note to end up in one of their cash machines. Their system is obviously flawed because that is where it came from. They've sent the note off and given me a slip saying it was counterfeit, but it's been two weeks now and I still don't know what's happening with it."
Mr Scoplin was drawing the money using his Banners Broker prepaid Mastercard, as a transaction for his on-line advertising business.
It is not the value of the loss, but the way he believes NatWest has dealt with the issue that has riled him.
"This happened on February 18," he added. "I was promised a call on February 25, which never came. I was in the area last Friday, so I poppped into the branch, but I'm still waiting. I don't really give a stuff about the £20, but some people wouldn't be able to afford £20 if the same thing happened to them."
A NatWest spokesman said: "We take the issue of counterfeit money very seriously and have rigorous checks in place on all cash before it is transported to our ATMs.
"We are currently investigating the note handed in at our Kingswood branch to determine the source."
Counterfeit notes are worthless. The Bank of England advises people to take suspect notes to the police as soon as possible to be examined.
There are many features of notes that ensure they are genuine.
They are printed on special paper, with raised print in areas such as the words "Bank of England".
There is a metallic thread embedded in every banknote, which appears in silver dashes on the back of the £20.
When held up to the light, a watermark of the Queen's head should be visible, as should a pound sign. Ultra-violet features can be seen under special lights.
There is micro-lettering beneath the Queen's portrait where the value of the note is written in letters and numbers and there is a holographic strip with an image of Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith.