x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Search for small change leads to FNC

The FNC is to address the issue of worn-out bank notes and the apparent shortage of smaller denominations in circulation.

Some denominations such as Dh 20 and Dh 200 notes are in short supply, while other denominations are of poor quality.
Some denominations such as Dh 20 and Dh 200 notes are in short supply, while other denominations are of poor quality.

ABU DHABI // The Federal National Council (FNC) is to address the issue of worn-out bank notes and the apparent shortage of smaller denominations in circulation next month. In particularly short supply are Dh20 and Dh200 notes, while other denominations including Dh5 and Dh10 are of poor quality, said Mohammed al Zaabi, an FNC member from Sharjah. "If you find Dh5 and Dh10 notes they are often too old, so we want to know why they have not been renewed," said Mr al Zaabi. "I raised this issue because it is something that has been noted around the country."

Mr al Zaabi also wants the council to address why many automated teller machines dispense only Dh100 and D500 notes. A spokesman for Transguard, which operates ATMs in Dubai, said the smaller notes would take up too much space and run out too quickly. "You will never find Dh50, Dh10 or Dh20 from an ATM. It's just not practical," he said. Several cash machines dispense Dh200 and Dh1,000 notes, which can be difficult to break.

Some residents say they experience difficulties when using taxis, with some drivers refusing to change even Dh100 bills. "When you give them big bills, they don't accept them because they don't have change," said Nisreen Dajani, 17."People always get into fights with the drivers because of this." Ahmad Killidar, 27, has also had issues with larger bills. "The most I give taxi drivers is a Dh50 note, and they are not always happy," he said.

When shopping, Mr Killidar said he noticed that there were more Dh10 notes in circulation, but fewer Dh20 or Dh50 notes. "If I pay Dh100 for a small item, I always get lots of Dh10 notes back." Ahsan Mohammed, a shopkeeper at Khamis al Zabi Grocery, said he generally lacks Dh50 notes. "But we receive lots of hundreds," he said. Abdul Rasheed Unikandth, from Al Shareek Grocery, also receives many Dh100 notes from customers but makes sure he always has change available.

"If I see I'm running out of the smaller bills, I go and find change from somewhere else," he said. Consumers also voiced concern over the poor quality of some notes, including Ahmed al Hammadi, who agreed that there was a shortage of Dh200 notes in circulation. "There are lots of small notes like Dh5 and Dh10, but mostly they are old," he said. "Sometimes if I am at a gas station and they give me old notes in change I hand them back and ask for new ones, because some other places may not accept them."

The discussion is expected to be taken up by the FNC and Government representatives at a session in the first half of next month, after it was rescheduled. According to WAM, the state news agency, Obaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, was due to appear before the council this week to discuss the issue. However, Mr al Zaabi said that the matter had been postponed until the beginning of next month.

zconstantine@thenational.ae zalkhalisi@thenational.ae