In future, banknotes from the sixth series onwards can be exchanged at any time
Bern, 13.11.2019 - At its meeting on 13 November 2019, the Federal Council decided to bring the partial revision of the Federal Act on Currency and Payment Instruments into force on 1 January 2020. With the revision, the current 20-year period for exchanging banknotes will be abolished from the sixth series onwards.
Parliament adopted the partial revision of the Federal Act on Currency and Payment Instruments (CPIA) on 21 June 2019. The referendum deadline expired unused on 10 October 2019. Consequently, the Federal Council has decided to bring the partial revision of the CPIA into force on 1 January 2020.
To date, banknote series that have been withdrawn from circulation by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) have been subject to an exchange period of 20 years. During this period, these banknotes can no longer be used as legal tender, but can still be exchanged at the SNB. In the past, the countervalue of any notes not exchanged was paid out in full to Fondssuisse (the fund for uninsurable damage from natural disasters).
As a result of the legislative amendment, banknotes from the sixth series (issued in 1976) and all subsequent series can be exchanged at any time. The amendment does not apply retroactively to older series up to and including the fifth series, because the earnings from those non-exchanged notes have already been transferred to the fund.
In addition, the legislative amendment coincides with a change to the procedure for transferring the countervalue of non-exchanged notes. In future, the SNB will transfer 90% of the countervalue of a withdrawn banknote series after 25 years have elapsed. The remaining 10% will be retained, so that the SNB can continue to meet its obligation to exchange banknotes at any time thereafter. One fifth of the transfer amount will go to Fondssuisse. Of the remainder, one third will go to the Confederation and two thirds to the cantons. The first such transfer will take place in 2025.
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