By Polish National Bank ….
On Monday, June 6, the Polish National Bank (Narodowy Bank Polski, or NBP) unveiled a new 500-złoty denomination Polish banknote featuring the image of John III Sobieski, which shall be introduced into circulation in February 2017.
In recent years, the NBP notes the increase in the value of currency in circulation and the increased demand for banknotes of high denomination, in particular the nominal value of PLN 200. The 500-zł banknote is a response to this phenomenon and the increasing costs of maintaining a strategic reserve of cash by the NBP.
“One of the objectives of the NBP is to provide safe and effective cash transactions in Poland that suit the needs of citizens and businesses. The introduction into circulation of the 500-zł banknote fits into this task. In the first few years of the banknote’s release, it will be used primarily to keep in a strategic Bank stock, so it will be seen rarely in circulation. The new denomination will, however, reduce the costs of ordering and storing strategic inventory at the bank, resulting in, among other things, savings in the functioning of the National Bank of Poland,” explains the president of the National Bank of Poland, Prof. Marek Belka.
95 percent of the profit generated by the central bank is transferred directly to the state budget.
Appearance of the new banknote
On the note is an image of John III Sobieski, thus retaining the chronological continuity of the series “Lord of the Poles”. The image was designed by Andrzej Heidrich, creator of other Polish circulating banknotes in denominations of 10-, 20-, 50-, 100- and 200-zł. On the other bills are Polish rulers from the Piast dynasty and the Jagiellonian dynasty in chronological order corresponding to the growth of denominations: Mieszko I, Boleslaw the Brave, Casimir the Great, Wladyslaw Jagiello and Sigismund I the Old. The producer of the banknotes on behalf of the National Bank of Poland is Polish Security Printing Works SA.
How much money circulates in the economy?
More than 1.77 billion banknotes now circulate in Poland. The value of cash in circulation in Poland is currently more than 170 billion – 16 percent more than a year ago. Meanwhile, the demand for bank notes in denominations of 200 zloty in the period between May 2015 and May 2016 increased by 28 percent.
In the past six years the value of banknotes and coins in the Polish economy almost doubled, though the structure of the banknote denominations in Poland has not changed in 21 years. In 1995, the average salary in Poland was about US$800; now it is more than 4,000 dollars. The 200-zł banknote–the highest denomination currently operating on the Polish market–is, in terms of purchasing power, the lowest among the highest denominations used in the European Union. For example, the 5,000-crown Czech banknote trades for the equivalent of 822.9 zł. The Danish 1,000-crown note trades for 598.1 zł, and the Croatian 1,000-kuna equals 594.3 zł. The highest value denomination banknote in Europe is the Swiss 1,000-franc – which is equivalent to 4,002.5 zł (as of May 24, 2016).
In contrast, the new 500-złoty banknote is equal to about 114 euros, and its purchasing power can be compared to 200 euros in the eurozone.
Modernization of the Polish banknote
The Polish National Bank in recent years has carried out a modernization of Polish banknotes, equipping them with the latest in the world of security.
The upgraded lower-denomination banknotes (10, 20, 50, 100 thousand) have been in circulation since April 2014. And the 200 zł has been in circulation since February 2016. Subsequently, the number of counterfeit banknotes in Poland dropped significantly; currently the NBP has recorded only 4.6 pieces false banknotes per million, while in previous years this figure reached 7-10 szt./mln.
The modernization of Polish bank notes, preceded by a nationwide information campaign, contributed not only to the improved safety of Polish currency, but also to a reduction in the cost of emissions. The rules governing the inventory management of banknotes and transportation of cash have also been changed, so that in addition to higher quality the Bank may also achieve additional savings.
According to the Law of 29 August 1997, the National Bank of Poland has an exclusive right to issue the currency of the Polish Republic.
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