Long lines to exchange $100 notes in Tobago

Date: 
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 19:00

Chaos at the Unit Trust Cor­po­ra­tion (UTC) To­ba­go branch on Mon­day, as per­sons wish­ing to ex­change the old $100 cot­ton bills, for the new poly­mer notes were faced with long lines spilling on­to the pave­ment.

Mi­nor­i­ty Leader of the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly Wat­son Duke, who vis­it­ed the bank to in­ter­vene on be­half of the cus­tomers, de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “evil.”

 

Cus­tomers com­plained about a lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Cen­tral Bank’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

They were up­set that the Jan­u­ary 14 date al­lowed them to ap­ply on­ly for the funds.

The ap­pli­ca­tion re­quired the sub­mis­sion of the due dili­gence forms, pho­to­copies of valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and all rel­e­vant doc­u­ments sup­port­ing cus­tomers’ in­abil­i­ty to con­vert the $100 cot­ton notes be­fore De­cem­ber 31, 2019 dead­line.

The cus­tomers were told once their ap­pli­ca­tions are ap­proved, the new notes would be giv­en to them on Jan­u­ary 17, at the same venue.

 

Some cus­tomers al­so ex­pressed con­cerns about the lim­it­ed time al­lot­ted to fa­cil­i­tate the ex­change in To­ba­go.

Mean­while, Duke, whose of­fi­cial THA of­fice is lo­cat­ed across the road from the UTC, said he is sad­dened by the lack of at­ten­tion giv­en to To­bag­o­ni­ans.

Late last year, Duke ad­vo­cat­ed for a Cen­tral Bank pres­ence in To­ba­go to fa­cil­i­tate the $100 bill ex­change.

“It is evil to have To­bag­o­ni­ans stand­ing in the hot sun and on the in­side there is no seat­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, they have to fill out forms on their backs.”

He called on Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley to treat To­bag­o­ni­ans with more dig­ni­ty by ex­tend­ing the ex­change pe­ri­od.

A press re­lease from the Cen­tral Bank last Fri­day said the bank may re­turn to To­ba­go af­ter Jan­u­ary 17.

“ The bank will con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor the re­sponse and will keep the pub­lic in­formed of any fur­ther arrange­ments,” the re­lease said.

The bank made arrange­ments to fa­cil­i­tate the ex­change of the old notes be­yond the De­cem­ber 31, 2019 dead­line at UTC To­ba­go on two ad­di­tion­al days, Jan­u­ary 14, and Jan­u­ary 17, 2020.

Cus­tomers in Trinidad have un­til March 31, 2020.

Reporter: Loyse Vincent

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