The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has confirmed the release of the first batch of new currency notes to commercial banks bringing into circulation the much-awaited cash to the public.
“We are pleased to advise that the new banknotes are already circulating in the country. We expect that they will be available in all commercial bank branches in the coming days. We have also embarked on a wide public awareness campaign to ensure all members of the public are familiar with the new banknotes and their features,” noted CBK in a statement on Thursday.
Persons exchanging amounts lesser than Ksh.1 million of the old series notes including non-account holders are now at liberty to obtain the new money through the combination of currency centers, CBK branches and commercial banks.
Bank customers with sums amounting to Ksh.5 million can meanwhile transact at their respective commercial banks under laid down procedures and requirements.
The last batch of customers who include non-account holders with sums surpassing the Ksh.1 million mark and persons exchanging currency notes for amounts exceeding Ksh.5 million will require the endorsement of the Central Bank.
Older Ksh.1000 notes will cease to be legal tender on October 1, 2019, while all other denominations are expected to circulate alongside the new generation banknotes.
The demonetization of the old series Ksh.1000 note is seen by government as the answer to pruning proceeds from counterfeiting and illicit financial flows in line with the anti-money laundering regulations of 2013.
“The objective of this measure is to deal conclusively with the emerging concerns about illicit financial flows and counterfeits,” noted May 31st gazette notice on the demonetization of the soon to be withdrawn note.
Commercial banks are expected to obtain confirmations from customers on the nature of their businesses that generate the respective large cash transactions.
The CBK is further engaging with Forex bureaus, payment service providers, money remittance providers, investigative agencies and other financial providers to ensure the adherence to regulations.
The old series Ksh.1000 note make up a majority 40.3 percent of total money in circulation today with an approximated 217.6 million pieces in total according to data from the CBK.
The pieces are in great part expected to provide anchorage to measuring the effectiveness of the demonetization directive at the lapse of the October 1st deadline.
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