Poundland will ignore the Royal Mint’s deadline and continue to accept old £1 coins after they cease to be legal tender at the weekend.

Around 500 million of the old round £1 coins remain in circulation, but the cut-off point for consumers to use them to pay for goods is this Sunday.

Yet thousands of shops will continue to let shoppers use the old coins in order to provide a “useful community service” to customers.

Poundland described the move was a “no-brainer”, despite the Royal Mint and the Treasury urging businesses to make a clean break from the round pound.

The new 12-sided £1 coin was introduced in March as the Royal Mint hit back at counterfeits.

Both coins have been in co-circulation since then, providing businesses with a transitional period.

Rules coming into force on October 15 will prevent retailers giving out old £1 coins as change, but there is no legislation stopping shops from continuing to accept the round coins.

Poundland boss Barry Williams, who took the reins last month following a board reshuffle, told the Telegraph: “Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office will come as good news.”

A spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses added: “Shopkeepers will be aware that the Royal Mint has this deadline, but at the same time they will not want to let their loyal customers down by saying they cannot pay with a round pound if they do not have any other change.

“The changeover period has been fairly short. It would help if small firms knew they were allowed a short transition period to collect the old coins if they wish to and are willing to bank them, but not give out to customers.

“This would provide a useful community service, allowing customers a few weeks to get rid of the final few pound coins in circulation.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “We will have received more than 1.2 billion round pound coins by time they cease being legal tender.

“We have worked with industry for over three years to ensure a smooth transition to the new more secure £1 coin.”