Brits hoarding more than £550m worth of un-exchanged foreign currency

Roshina Jowaheer
Brits hoarding more than £550m worth of un-exchanged foreign currency
Brits hoarding more than £550m worth of un-exchanged foreign currency

Two fifths of Britons have un-exchanged foreign currency lying around their homes that they haven't converted back to pound sterling, new research has revealed.

The poll, by money-saving website, found that the average Briton has the equivalent of £27.13 in foreign currency lying around their home, equating to more than £550m in the entire UK.

61 per cent of tourists said that they had been on a holiday abroad in the past 12 months on which they had taken spending money which had been a foreign currency.

However, when asked 'Do you have any foreign currency at home that you still haven't exchanged back to pound sterling?' 41 per cent admitted that they did.

When they were asked to explain why they had not exchanged their leftover currency back to pound sterling and told to select the main reason, the top five results were as follows:

1. Decided to keep the money for a future holiday – 27 per cent

2. Exchange rates weren't good, so didn't see the point – 21 per cent

3. Couldn't find the time, or be bothered – 14 per cent

4. Mostly had coins, which I couldn't exchange – 13 per cent

5. Forgot to get the currency exchanged – 7 per cent

The most common types of foreign currency that Britons have lying around the house are Euros (44%), US Dollars (22%) and Turkish Lira (21%). used the results to estimate how much foreign currency is currently in homes around the UK because it hasn't been exchanged. With approximately 49.6 million British adults in the UK, and two fifths of Britons admitting to having foreign currency worth, on average, £27.13 in pound sterling in their homes, this means that as much as £551,715,680 worth of foreign currency is lying around unused throughout the UK.

George Charles, at, told AOL Travel: "£551million sure is a lot of money for Britons to abandon and leave lying around their homes, whether they can't be bothered to exchange it or not. We understand that it's frustrating that travel agents, supermarkets and the like don't exchange coins, only notes, which will lead to people being left with a handful of coins, but if you have any cash notes remaining then you should always make an effort to exchange them – it's more money in your pocket to spend or save, after all.

"When you get back from holiday, you don't have long to unpack and get everything washed and sorted before reality hits and you're back to work, or life in general starts to take over. We understand that people have busy lives, but surely it's better to spend a couple of minutes getting some of your hard-earned money back?"

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