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.”