New $5, $10, $20 polymer bills coming in November

Central Bank of TT. Photo: Jeff K Mayers - JEFF K MAYERS
Central Bank of TT. Photo: Jeff K Mayers - JEFF K MAYERS

INITIALLY scheduled for distribution in September 2020, three new polymer notes will be made available to the public from November.

In a release on February 21, the Central Bank announced the new design and look for the $50, $20, $10, $5 and $1 bills. It also said all old notes will remain legal tender until the end of 2021.

In May, the bank said the covid19 pandemic would not stop the implementation of the new bills, and said they would still be distributed in "late 2020."

Although she was unable to give a definite date, the bank's industrial and external relations manager Nicole Crooks told Newsday the roll-out will happen sometime in November.

In an e-mail on Thursday, she said, "The Central Bank will be issuing new denominations of TT currency in polymer, starting with the $5, $10 and $20 notes in November 2020.

"The media will be invited to a briefing to launch the new notes."

In December 2019, during the changeover process from the old cotton-based $100 bills to polymer, the bank said the other notes would follow.

In its 2016/17-2020/21 strategic plan, it said the demonetisation of the $100 cotton note "highlighted the need for greater financial inclusion, public financial literacy and the need to move to more digital financial transactions."

It added that the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman and National Financial Literacy Programme would step up its educational efforts, "particularly on safe electronic transactions.

"The Central Bank will continue to partner with the TT International Financial Centre, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Government Ministries to further advance the digitisation drive and embrace fintech solutions."

It also said the bank will "explore the potential" for a Central Bank digital currency.

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