Public support to discontinuation of use of one-cent, two-cent coins reaches 49% - central bank

  • 2023-09-28
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The share of the public supporting the discontinuation of the small denomination coins - one-cent and two-cent coins, has reached 49 percent, the latest Payment Radar issued by the Bank of Latvia suggest.

It exceeded the share of the public expressing the view that these coins should remain in circulation (46 percent). 

In February 2023, 41 percent of the respondents took the view that the small denomination coins should be withdrawn from circulation, while 50 percent maintained that these coins should remain in circulation. 

The largest-ever support for reviewing the denominations of euro cent coins was recorded in February 2022 when 51 percent of the respondents supported the plan to discontinue one-cent and two-cent coins.

Zita Zarina, Member of the Council of the Bank of Latvia noted that, over time, public support for reviewing the structure of euro coin denominations has risen and there have been active discussions with the institutions and businesses involved in cash circulation explaining this idea and searching for the best solutions for Latvia, its population and businesses.

The central bank has developed a draft law on rounding the total amount of a cash payment. Currently, discussions are underway with the Ministry of Finance and the State Revenue Service as to how the rounding of the total amount of a cash purchase (and not the price of individual items) might be implemented in practice. The greatest challenge involves adapting the cash registers and cash register systems to reflect the rounding of the total amount of a purchase in the receipt. Merchants should not only implement the changes in the systems, but also certify them in accordance with the current laws and regulations. This would significantly affect costs and increase the implementation time. Currently, the Bank of Latvia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, is looking for the most business-friendly solution to this problem.