By Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Mr. Timothy N.J Antoine said there are no immediate plans to make changes to the EC Polymer notes and coins, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Antoine, during a live interview “Conversation with the Governor” in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, explained that there are stocks of Polymer notes at the ECCB yet to be used and will not be discarded. He also reminded individuals that the faces of prominent Caribbean leaders are on the notes.
“Nothing happens right now. The fact of the matter is, we have three to four years of inventory or stock of these notes; of these beautiful Polymer notes and we plan to use them. So, you will see no change in respect of your notes and coins for the time being. Absolutely no Change.”
The Governor further explained, “The notes that you have, we will continue to use. We have a lot in stock, pristine, mint condition, waiting to be used. We spent money on those and we are certainly not throwing those away. Nothing will change where that is concerned. Let’s be honest. I mean, we have great leaders like Sir Arthur Lewis and Sir Dwight K. Venner who are on our currency. They’ve passed, but their legacy lives on. They are on our currency and they will remain on our currency. So, the passing of the Queen does not change what happens with our notes; certainly not for the time being.”
In addition, Governor Antoine spoke to the growing conversation, where some Caribbean leaders are seeking to attain Republic status for their countries, rather than British Sovereignty. He explained that the matter relating to the EC currency needs to be a part of the discussions.
“However, her (Queen Elizabeth) passing does raise the question,” What happens next?” and we will need to have a conversation in our region about what we want to do; where we want to take our currency; what image we want. I can tell you there are a lot of people who feel it’s time for us to move into a different direction and that, rather than continuing with the British Sovereign, we should be using our own landmarks and our heroes and that sort of thing. I look forward to that discussion which has just begun and we will obviously make some determination and make some announcements, but there is no imminent announcement.”
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank launched its new family of EC polymer banknotes, just over three years ago on May 29, 2019, beginning with the issuance of the $20.00, $50.00, and $100.00 notes to commercial banks in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. However, in 2020, the $10.00 and $5.00 Polymer notes were issued.