The Magyar Nemzeti Bank will withdraw from circulation HUF 1 and 2 coins on 1 March 2008. Until that time, holders of these coins may use them in shops or for charitable purposes. Retailers will accept as payment 50 coins of each denomination, and post offices and commercial banks will accept 100 coins for customer transactions. However, after 29 February 2008 HUF 1 and 2 coins will not be accepted, and consequently, retailers will round invoice totals, but not the individual items, of all cash payments. This rounding will not affect payments made with bank cards and electronic funds transfers.
Governor of the MNB András Simor will hold a press conference on the decision at 2.15 pm on 1 October.
One of the major tasks of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is to supply the public and the economy with cash of adequate quantity and quality as well as of suitable denominations. Analyses have shown that for a long time HUF 1 and 2 coins as small change have been used less and less frequently, as they do not have any significant purchasing power. The majority of coins produced are lost, and are thus not in active circulation. In addition, the prices of metals in world markets have soared in recent years, and so the production of coins causes significant extra expenditure, not only for the Magyar Nemzeti Bank operating on public funds but also for the whole country.
For this reason, on 1 March 2008 the Magyar Nemzeti Bank will withdraw from circulation HUF 1 and 2 coins. Until March, holders will have the opportunity to use their existing HUF 1 and 2 coins in shops or for charitable purposes. Retailers will accept as payment 50 coins of each denomination. Post offices and commercial banks will accept 100 coins of each denomination for customer transactions.
From March 2008, HUF 1 and 2 coins will not be accepted at points of sale, and consequently, retailers will round the invoice totals, but not each item, of all cash payments. This means that the forint value of individual purchased items may end in any number, but the invoice total must end in a 0 or 5 after rounding. The obligation to round figures will not affect payments by bank cards and electronic transactions (transfers), as HUF 1 will remain an accounting unit in the future.
Also from March 2008, it will be possible to exchange HUF 1 and 2 coins in commercial banks, savings associations and post offices for at least 6 months, or to present them for payment at the Magyar Nemzeti Bank until 1 March 2013.
In order to inform the public, the Bank will start a comprehensive communication campaign from 1 October to ensure that the most important information reaches everyone concerned.