No change for big bills

  • 2011-01-20
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - The Estonian Retailers Association is surprised at how many 500 euro banknotes have been issued to people, which can cause a problem with change when people pay with them in stores, reports Eesti Paevaleht. The Retailers Association recommended the Banking Association to avoid issuing these 500 euro notes to customers as much as possible.
Retailers Association board member Marika Merilai noted that since ATMs do not dispense 500 euro notes, banks must have issued them. “If banks dispense 500 euro banknotes, they also have to guarantee that retailers have the change. Another possibility is that some people get paid in cash when working abroad, or they withdraw their wages from the local banks there in 500 euro notes,” she said.

Wherever people get such high face value banknotes, it possibly hides the fact that there have been cases that people have failed to shop, since stores may not be able to give them change for these large notes. Merilai said that bigger retail chains have managed, but problems have concerned smaller sales venues that have not planned their cash demand correctly.
Banking Association CEO Katrin Taliharm said that there has not been a situation that a bank has run out of smaller bills and has had to offer a client a 500 euro banknote. “Customers have not realized the amount of money spent on everyday needs. They have exchanged a relatively big amount of kroons that they had at home and thought: ‘I’ll take a part in larger bills and some in smaller ones.’ Now they have used the smaller ones up in stores and it is time to use the 500 euro note,” Taliharm offered.

January 14 was the last day possible to pay both in kroons and euros in shops in Estonia. Euros are now the only accepted currency in Estonia.