The company that prints UK bank notes and passports has confirmed there are on the brink of collapse if a turnaround plan is not found.

De La Rue, who prints cash for about 140 central banks and employs more than 2,500 people globally, said the warning is based on a worst-case scenario.

All current Bank of England banknotes are printed by the firm at a site on Langston Road, Debden.

In May last year, it had to write off £18m after Venezuela's central bank failed to pay its bills.

The company reported a £12.1m pre-tax loss for the six months to September 28, compared with a £7.1m profit in the same period last year.

A 20 per cent shares decreased was also confirmed on Tuesday, November 26.

Over the past two years, the firm has suffered serious setbacks including losing their post-Brexit UK passport printing contract to Franco-Dutch firm, Gemalto, last year.

The company is also under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in connection with "suspected corruption" in South Sudan.

Poor performance of chief executive, Martin Sutherland, and major changes to its turnaround plan were reasons outlined for the company’s poor performance.

New chief executive, Clive Vacher, was hired in October to help create a successful turnaround plan for the 198-year-old company.

It is unclear what would happen if the firm got into difficulties, but it is likely that a rival, all based oversees, would take over its Bank of England contract.

De La Rue said it expected to fare better in the second half of the financial year, with more favourable currency volumes forecasted and further cost cuts.