Two of Sweden's old coins (top two) and the three new ones. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
As Sweden nears the end of its banknote and coin changeover, it's time to empty the piggy bank.
The days of Sweden's old 1-, 2- and 5-kronor coins are numbered.
The banknote and coin changeover, which began in 2015
, has entered its final phase, meaning the last remaining old coins, as well as the old 100-kronor and 500-kronor bank notes, will become invalid after June 30th, 2017.
Banks across Sweden are now gearing up for large amounts of old coins being deposited ahead of the deadline. Some banks apply a fee on coin deposits, while others receive coins free of charge as long as the money is deposited in a bank account.
"If you have a very large amount of coins it's good if you contact your branch in advance. We had one customer who brought in 40,000 kronor in 1-krona coins," SEB press spokesperson Frank Hojem told TT newswire.
The Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, estimates that approximately 1.3 billion coins, valued at nearly 2 billion kronor, are still in circulation. And as it is up to traders to decide whether or not to only give customers new coins back for change before June 30th, shoppers risk ending up with old coins back in their wallets again.
The Swedish Trade Federation (Svensk Handel) is critical, which says the state as well as the banks have put too great a responsibility on traders for ensuring the old coins are collected.
"There are no incentives for traders to return old coins to the Riksbank via (cash-handling company) Loomis, on the contrary it comes at a cost. If we were to purchase new coins that would also add a cost," Bengt Nilervall, payments expert at Svensk Handel, told TT.
The final bank deposit date for the 1-, 2- and 5-kronor coins is August 31st, 2017.
Sweden's old 100-kronor and 500-kronor notes will also become invalid after June 30th, but can be deposited at a bank until June 30th, 2018.