Belgian bank readies for francs-to-euro rush
17 December 2004
BRUSSELS – The Bank of Belgium is preparing for a Christmas rush to cash in old franc coins still unaccounted for, estimated to be worth more than EUR 44.6 million, with just days left before the final deadline for an official exchange.
Since the adoption of the single European currency in Januray, 2002, some 1.8 billion francs (worth EUR 44.621 million) in old coins are still hoarded.
The bank has set 31 December as the last day its branches will convert coins of the old currency into euro coins. After that date, the coins will have only limited collectors’ value.
To meet the last-minute rush, the Belgian central bank has posted 400 employees at its exchange counters this week, up from 300 staff only a week ago, Belgian daily La Derniere Heure reported Friday.
“The maximum waiting period is around 15 to 20 minutes,” claimed Guido Bertels, a spokesman for the central bank.
He advised people with old notes to exchange to wait until the beginning of January.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news