CUSTOMERS trying to short change a Bradford supermarket chain by using foreign currency at self-service tills has led to a ban on the use of £2 coins at some stores.

Morrisons said it would not accept the coins in certain stores until an upgrade had taken place so that foreign substitute coins, which are often worth far less, can be recognised.

The restriction has been introduced at a "handful" of stores and Morrisons said it did not expect the upgrade to take long.

At first, only stores in the West Midlands were said to be affected, but it is now thought that the problems may be more wide-spread.

Some Yorkshire-based Morrisons customers have also reported seeing signs placed in store about the issue.

The supermarket will not say exactly how many stores are affected or where they are, for security and commercial reasons.

A spokesman said: "A handful of our stores have experienced foreign currency being passed off as £2 coins at self checkouts. While we fix the issue, some of those stores have temporarily stopped them accepting any £2 coins.

"Customers are still free to use them at all manned checkouts. We apologise for any inconvenience it is causing but don't expect the fix to take long."

Coins which have similar characteristics to the £2 coin include the Iranian 250 rial, which is worth around one pence, and the Thai ten baht, which is worth about 18 pence. The 2 euro coin, worth around £1.60, also has a similar appearance.

Jonathan Hilder, the chief executive of the Automatic Vending Association (AVA), said in general machines recognise coins by their shape.

He said that to his knowledge, there have been no widespread problems with machines failing to properly recognise the £2 coin.