Redemption period of old markka coins and banknotes will expire in February
The value of redeemable coins and banknotes still in circulation is around FIM 1.7 billion
There will certainly be some, and probably many people who feel that it is a particularly inauspicious moment to bring the subject up, given the current plight of the eurozone, but the Bank of Finland nevertheless chose to report it on Monday: the redemption period of old markka banknotes and coins will expire once and for all on February 29th, 2012, after which time the money will only have value for collectors.
On that day, ten years will have passed since shops and banks ceased to accept both currencies.
The obligation of the Bank of Finland to change markkas for euros will come to an end at the same time.
According to Finland’s central bank, there are still markka banknotes and coins in circulation worth around FIM 1.7 billion. Of this fairly staggering amount, the value of banknotes is approximately FIM 750 million, while that of coins is about FIM 591 million, and that of commemorative coins is around FIM 330 million.
The central bank recommends that customers return their old markka banknotes and coins to their own bank. They can also be sent to the central bank. The Bank of Finland will redeem all eligible coins and notes at their face value.
The commmon European currency, the euro, was introduced in Finland at the beginning of 1999, and became the currency in practice from 2002. One euro is equal to 5.94573 old markkas. The face value of the markkas still in circulation is thus around EUR 286 million.
Not all markka notes and coins qualify for redemption.
According to the Bank of Finland, all banknotes issued since 1945 can be converted into euros. The central bank is still accepting all markka and penni coins which were in use just prior to the introduction of the euro.
The Bank of Finland is also obliged to redeem all commemorative coins issued since 1989.
However, after the end of February next year, they will be good only for collectors. There may indeed be some coins and notes that are seen to be worth hanging on to, for other than purely sentimental reasons, as the article from earlier this year indicates.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Bank of Finland still struggles to deal with returned old currency (6.3.2008)
Bank of Finland being swamped with redeemable markka coins (3.1.2008)
The Finnish markka´s nominal value is heading for the basement, but the collector price is going up (1.2.2011)
Bank of Finland