ECCB Coin Phase Out Could Cause Problems For Merchants by LK Hewlett
A number of business owners say the ECCB’s suggested rounding of prices due to the phasing out of 1cent and 2cent coins could prove to be problematic. The Currency Management of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank announced recently that effective July 1, 2015, the Bank will cease issuing the EC 1 cent and 2 cent coins to commercial banks in member countries. According to ECCB Deputy Governor Trevor Brathwaite, the coins were too expensive to mint in comparison to their face value. It costs 6 cents to mint each 1cent and 8cents to make each 2cent, he informed. Over $1,020, 000 was spent to issue more than 17million 1 cent coins each year which had a face value of just over $170,000, representing a loss of more than $800,000 for the Bank. Just over 7 million 2cent pieces are issued per year at a cost of some$560,000 with a face value of approximately $140,000. This represents an annual loss of over $400,000. “We collectively as citizens of the ECCU lose out on that,” Brathwaite noted. The phase out process would last the mandatory 5 years after which the coins would no longer be of legal tender. He said after that 5-year period the Bank would evaluate the redemption process and make a determination if the period for phase out would be extended. Brathwaite was at the time engaging media workers on Tuesday (Apr 21) as part of the ECCB’s education and sensitization efforts in the coin phase out process. Brathwaite was joined by Director of the Currency Management Department Pamela Osborne who explained how the rounding system would work for cash transactions. Cash totals ending in 1, 2, 6, and 7 will be round down to the nearest 5 cent denomination and totals ending in 3, 4, 8, and 9 will be rounded up.