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Swedes to print South African cash

The banknote printing company Crane & Co has been contracted to print 8 billion kronor ($1.25 billion) worth of bills for South Africa's Reserve Bank to replace a prior faulty batch.

Swedes to print South African cash

The printing company’s Stockholm-based paper mill has been commissioned to print 8 billion South African rand ($1.25 billion) in 100-rand bills, according to a report in the South African newspaper Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported that the move to contract an overseas firm follows a discovery in May 2010 that the existing 100-rand bills were missing a key security feature, due to a fault in the South African printing company’s machines.

Although the machines were fixed, the decision to print elsewhere remained unchanged.

South Africa’s Reserve Bank was concerned that faulty bills would be an embarrassment for South Africa during the 2010 Football World Cup, revealed insiders to the Sunday Times.

Employees at the South African printing company SA Bank Note Company are now sitting idle, yet continue to pick up their pay checks. At the same time, outsourcing the bank note printing to Sweden is costing the reserve bank more, as Sweden’s high labour costs and transportation fees are entered into the equation.

Economist Mike Schüssler confirmed to the Sunday Times that printing banknotes elsewhere is normal for countries, but was concerned about security weaknesses compromising South African currency.

“The important thing is whether we have made the right security decision, and that our currency is safe,” he said to the newspaper.

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BANK

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering

Danish police will investigate the Swedish bank Nordea after a year-long probe by regulators into money laundering led to "criticism" of its procedures, the bank said Friday.

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering
Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Detectives will examine how money laundering rules were followed at the bank's Danish subsidiary and could result in “sanctions”, Nordea said in a statement.

“We realize that we initially underestimated the complexity and the time it takes to change our procedures,” said Nordea chief executive Casper von Koskull.

The bank added that 850 Nordea employees are currently involved in the fight against money laundering which the bank plans to increase to 1,150 by the end of the year.

In May 2015 the bank was fined 50 million kronor (€5.4 million euros) – the maximum possible – by Swedish regulators who accused Nordea of “not following money laundering rules for several years” and failing to “evaluate the risks of (doing business with) certain clients”.