A CHAIN of chemists has sparked an outcry after they banned Scottish bank notes from their stores amid claims forgeries were rife across the UK.

Gloucester-based Badham Pharmacy said it decided to stop accepting the notes because they are some of the most counterfeited in the country.

The firm acknowledged the money can be used in England but it draws a distinction between “legal tender” and “legal currency”.

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A notice was put up in all 17 of its chemist stores, saying they were refusing to accept Scottish or Northern Irish notes with immediate effect.

It said: “We are sorry but Badham Pharmacy will no longer accept Scottish or Irish notes as payment for goods.

“Although they are legal currency, they are not legal tender, leaving it to the discretion of the retailer as to whether they accept them or not.

“Due to them being one of the most commonly counterfeited notes in the country and the difficulty in spotting a fake we have decided not to accept them.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and thank you for your understanding.”

However, the move was met with frustration by Scots living in the English county.

Posting a photo of the notice on Facebook, Angela O’Neill said: “I went into my local pharmacy in Gloucestershire and to my horror read this.

“As a Scottish person I am deeply offended.

“Out of principle I will no longer use this company.

“It appears it’s okay to be downright offensive to the Scottish and Irish.

“I wonder if the Scottish Government is aware of this?”

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A fellow user, Andrew Gould added: “Perfectly legal tender anywhere in the UK.

“I’ve thankfully only ever had the odd ‘look’ but retailers have always accepted them.”

A spokesman for Badham Pharmacy said: “We certainly didn’t want to offend or upset anyone. We have done this because we have suffered a spate of forged Scottish notes recently.

“I suppose because we don’t see them very often we don’t quite know what looks right and what’s wrong.

“I don’t suppose we are the only retailers to suffer this and when we get forged notes it’s only the honest customers who ultimately pick up the bill for it.

“So this is not slight against the Scots or anyone. We’re just trying to protect our business, our staff and the 99.99 per cent of our customers who are honest.”

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The Committee of Scottish Bankers website confirms Badham’s position about the distinction between legal tender and legal currency.

It said: “Scottish banknotes are legal currency – i.e. they are approved by the UK Parliament.

“However, Scottish banknotes are not legal tender, not even in Scotland.

“In fact, no banknote what- soever (including Bank of England notes) qualifies for the term ‘legal tender’ north of the Border and the Scottish economy seems to manage without that legal protection.”