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Demand for new SGD2 banknotes during festive periods down by 20pc each year: MAS

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Demand for new SGD2 banknotes during festive periods has gone down by about 20 per cent each year since a “good-as-new” initiative was launched in 2013, said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday.

MAS issues about 100 million new notes annually to meet Chinese New Year and other festive periods, with the SGD2 bills accounting for the bulk of the demand, said MAS in response to queries from CNA.

“Other than the SGD2 denomination, there is no accumulation of excess notes as the new notes of other denominations issued are recycled to meet normal circulation demand,” it said.

Its “good-as-new” SGD2 note initiative – which encourages the public to choose used notes that are clean and crisp instead of newly printed ones – has helped to reduce the demand for new SGD2 bills during festive periods by about 20 per cent each year, said the authority.

In a media release on Tuesday, the central bank had said that a large proportion of new notes issued for festive gifting, particularly the SGD2 bills, are returned after Chinese New Year and subsequently destroyed as it “far exceeds normal circulation demand”.

“The carbon emissions from the production, transportation, and destruction of such new notes each year is highly wasteful, unnecessary, and impacts the environment negatively,” it said.

Reusing notes for the Chinese New Year “will support the environment and reduce queues at bank branches” added MAS.

MAS issues about 100 million new notes annually to meet Chinese New Year and other festive periods, the SGD2 bills accounting for the bulk of the demand. PHOTO: CNA
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