The Riksbank had argued that “Selman” has become increasingly dilapidated with age causing practical problems for machines deployed to process the notes. It has also become more difficult to judge whether the notes are genuine.
The bank thus decided to sound the death knell for the 20 kronor note and replace it with a more perfunctory coin but the Riksdagen Committee on Finance was not persuaded of the virtues of the plan.
“The committee however approves the Riksbank proposal to introduce a 2 kronor coin and a 200 kronor note. The reason is that they will replace a significant amount of one kronor coins and 100 kronor notes. The number of notes in circulation will thus decline which will cut handling and purchasing costs as well as ease the burden on the environment,” the committee said in a statement.
The Riksbank proposal to phase out “Selman” was not uniformly popular even among its own ranks with the bank’s general council taking a stand at a meeting in March against the decision.
Selma Lagerlöf was a Swedish author who died in 1940. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and is most widely recognised for her children’s book The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige).