Singapore—People quickly grabbed the chance to get the new S$20 notes, recently issued in commemoration of the country’s bicentennial, on June 10, Monday, the first day these were released into circulation.
Several bank branches reported running out of the bills.
Due to the high demand for the commemorative notes, individuals looking to make some fast money were going online to sell these, with some listings as high as S$488 on online marketplace Carousell, according to a Straits Times (ST) report.
Additionally, a report from Stomp says that the price range on Carousell for the commemorative S$20 bill is between S$25 and S$444. Moreover, the report says that one user is selling five notes for the astronomical amount of S$1,688.
From early in the morning, long lines formed at various banks as citizens were eager to get hold of the new notes. President Halimah Yacob herself launched the new note on Wednesday, June 5.
@MAS_sg has launched a $20 note to commemorate Singapore’s #Bicentennial. The note depicts #Singapore’s journey to #nationhood and pays tribute to our forebears who laid the foundations for modern Singapore. READ: https://t.co/fJahWbqxjh pic.twitter.com/z5Nm0kGV5v
— MAS (@MAS_sg) June 5, 2019
The bill was issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in celebration of Singapore’s 200th birthday. The front part of the note shows Singapore’s first president, Yusof Ishak, with eight other pioneers on the back of the note. These individuals were vital to laying the country’s foundation.
At least forty percent of the stock of the notes in five banks were said to have been snapped up, according to the ST report.
All in all, two million pieces of the S$20 note were distributed at different branches of nine major retail banks from June 10 onwards. Customers are allowed to exchange a maximum of 20 pieces each.
Around 33,000 notes were exchanged across seven of Citibank’s branches on Monday.
Meanwhile, lines formed at HSBC Singapore before opening hours, according to Anurag Mathur, the bank’s head of retail banking and wealth management.
Only three -fifths of the supply of commemorative S$20 notes remained at the bank by early afternoon.
Jean Oh, the head of branch service and risk management at OCBC said that “overwhelming public interest” in the commemorative notes caused nearly 80 percent of the bank’s stocks to be exchanged by day’s end on June 10.
She added, “Within the first three hours of our branches opening, six to seven branches had already run out of notes.”
At DBS, POSB and United Overseas Bank (UOB), half of the branches reported running out of stock of the S$20 notes.
However, ST reports that the notes are still available at face value at some bank branches. For OCBC, people can still check at OCBC Centre, ION Orchard, Kallang Wave Mall, Holland Village, and Jurong Point.
For Citibank, the notes may still be available at Asia Square, Capital Square, Holland Village, MacDonald House, and Jurong East./ TISG