Finance Minister Colm Imbert says he will be asking the banks to waive their service fee for changing the $100 bills, especially for elderly citizens, but noted that the state cannot compel them to do so by law.
The minister told Parliament this morning that under the current law the central bank is empowered to fix bank charges and fees with respect to loans, deposits and credit finances, but it does not apply to over the counter transactions.
He said they may need to consider changing that.
The 12 member Confederation of Regional Business Chambers (CRBC) is asking government to extend its deadline for the return of cotton based $100 bills, by at least five to seven working days in January.
And the group is concerned about the increased security risks to small businesses, as a result of the compressed time given for the currency changeover.
Coordinator for the Confederation, Jaishima Leladharsingh, says many customers of these businesses may not have had time to change their currency before the 31 December deadline, and would be shopping with the old notes.
The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) is advising that its member businesses will continue accepting the cotton based $100 notes, until the deadline date of Tuesday 31 December 2019.
In an official statement issued today, DOMA expressed concerned that some businesses are refusing to accept old $100 currency notes beyond December 15th 2019.
The organisation says such a move will only make the transition period even more confusing and stressful for everyone concerned, and is advising businesses to do their part to make the process as smooth as possible.
As the country transitions from one form of the $100 bill to another, one former trade minister believes the changeover should have happened next year, to evade the rush happening now.
Two of Vasant Bharath's biggest concerns are the possibility of more counterfeit cotton notes in the system before the changeover is complete; and the great inconvenience to the public, who will need to line up at the nation's banks to change their cash.
Change-over time too short