Citizens have from tomorrow, December 10 to December 30, to convert their old $100 bills to the new polymer bill. As of December 31st, the old $100 will no longer be legal tender.
Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Alvin Hillaire made the announcement at a news conference this morning. Following changes to the Miscellaneous Provisions (Proceeds of Crime and Central Bank) Bill 2019 which was passed in the Senate on Saturday, the public now has two-weeks, from the given date, to trade in their $100 bills.
Although no date official date was given which signals the start of the two-week period, persons should expect tomorrow’s date, December 10, as the beginning of the switching period. December 10-30 is a two-week period, excluding weekends and Christmas day.
Dr. Hillaire said that Central Bank met with commercial banks and other financial institutions, and that they are expected to be ready to distribute the new bills to consumers from tomorrow. He admitted that, “There are a few things we know that are already in the public domain. There are many things that we don’t know and many things we don’t need to know but we are rising to the call.”
Minister of Finance Colm Imbert had said that a three-month grace period would be given to those persons who were unable to change their bills within the allotted time frame “due to circumstances beyond their control.” But with today’s announcement, citizens are yet to receive that reassurance from the Finance Minister.
Dr. Hillaire urged the public to be patient with the banks stating that it may take some time for the entire process to run smoothly. He did give the assurance that the new polymer notes will not run out.
He said that other denominations of the Trinidad and Tobago currency will be converted to polymer by March 31, 2020.