Saturday 18 January, 2020

Central Bank urges calm as banks get ATMs ready for new $100 bills

Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Not all banks’ ATMs are equipped to dispense the new polymer $100 note when it comes on stream on Tuesday as Government moves to phase out the paper bills in circulation by December 31.

In this regard, Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hilaire has urged citizens to exercise patience as banks reconfigure their ATMs to begin dispensing the new bills.

He said there was no need to rush as the bills would not run out.

Asked why some banks’ ATMs were not configured to handle polymer notes even after the polymer $50 bills were introduced four years ago, Hilaire told Loop News that it was possible that these institutions took a decision not to dispense those bills.

On whether customers would be disadvantaged given the two-week timeframe and it being well into the Christmas season, he noted that the current bills remain legal tender until December 31.

The Central Bank Governor acknowledged that it would take some time for things to be sorted out, but said he anticipated that this would be done in short order as banks are “putting their shoulders to the wheel”.

“They’re moving as quickly as possible and they are putting all effort into it,” he assured.   

Hilaire said he had every confidence that the process would be a smooth one with minimal disruption.

“If Mauritius could do it, Trinidad and Tobago could definitely do it.”

He urged customers to be calm during the transition period, but also to not wait until the last minute to cash in their “old” bills.

The Central Bank Governor said those out of the country during the transition period need not worry as special provisions will be made for them to change their bills.

“People don’t have to worry about that. They will all be catered for.”

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