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End of era for old Sh1,000

By Brian George | Oct 1st 2019 | 2 min read
By Brian George | October 1st 2019
Clients queue in a banking hall to transact. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The business environment remained calm yesterday as the era of the old Sh1,000 notes came to an end.

With most people beating the deadline for exchange of the now worthless notes, businesses and corporates did not report any crisis.

Banks, shopping malls, forex bureaus, car bazaars, real estate agencies, and supermarkets registered normal business hours to meet the set September 30 deadline.

A mini-survey by The Standard team showed there were no long queues, crowding or even extensions of closing time by banks and forex bureaus ahead of the deadline.

David Ngila, a senior accountant at Namanga Forex Bureau, yesterday told The Standard such pressures and rushes were only experienced in the first three weeks after the announcement by Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge that come October 1, the old notes would be worthless.

“Apparently, when it comes to personal money, people are more sensitive and we tend to respond quickly, especially when there is the possibility of making losses. But in overall, there has been no cause for alarm and, in case of anything, we normally inquire and report to Central Bank in compliance with the law,” explained the money changer.

The same sentiments were reiterated by Family Bank’s Chief Operations Officer Godfrey Kamau, saying trading at the bank had been normal, with no fake notes received.

“We had planned for it and the timelines were just okay. When our clients came with the old notes, we would change them with the new ones," he said.

He added that as at the end of yesterday, none of their branches was accepting the old notes for deposits.

Mr Kamau also had no expectations of last-minute clients who might have wanted to change the old notes.

Some supermarkets had even issued notices to their clients not to use the old notes as payments for goods. In special cases, they requested customers to go make bank deposits and use the slips as vouchers for purchases.

A real estate agency also stated that no unusual purchases were made, whether in cash or online, in the last days to the deadline.

“The market is actually quiet, there are no anomalies,” said the realtor, who sought anonymity.

Despite being approached with cash, business people dealing in automobiles declined to sell in cash as they remained on the watch against taking in old notes.

As for the retailers, the situation was not any different yesterday.

To the general public, it seemed as though there was enough sensitisation ahead of the deadline, as most expressed comfort in the introduction of the new notes within the set timelines.

The new notes are being introduced in accordance with the new Constitution.

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