Memorandum from the Association for Payment
APACS plays a major role in the distribution/re-distribution
of "wholesale" coin throughout the UK, via a weekly
clearing operation involving the main banks and the Post Office.
These institutions currently act as the interface between the
key coin users, the large retailers, and the coin producers (the
Royal Mint). Accordingly, it is appropriate for APACS to be counselled
on any matter that could affect the way in which the country's
coin requirements are to be satisfied.
Over the past 12 months APACS has worked closely
with the Royal Mint on a wide range of issues, most of which have
been geared to efficiency enhancement regarding coin production.
In particular, much work has been undertaken in respect of coin
requirement forecasts, naturally a key factor in production management
at the Royal Mint. However, no matter what approach has been taken
to this exercise, the only certainty is that any forecast will
prove inaccurate in practice. The basic cause of the variances
is that retailers change their pricing policies far too often
(for commercial reasons) for demand to be predicted accurately,
even in terms of bulk coin demand. The outcome is either severe
shortages, or massive overstocking, of specific coin denominations
on a regular basis. The enclosed analysis sheet for Year 2000,
and summary statement, serves to reinforce this comment.
However, perhaps the time has arrived for a
major re-think in terms of coin supply to the UK economy. Maybe
this is the opportunity for bulk coin production/re-distribution/practical
provision/repatriation to be reviewed again with a view to ascertaining,
and implementing, the most efficient total coin flow for all involved
parties. APACS would, most certainly, be keen to participate should
such an exercise be initiated. In this concept the possibility
of "joint venture" activity springs to mind.
15 January 2001