Hundreds of people swarmed banks in Port of Spain Tuesday morning, standing in line from early as 7 am.
This, as various financial institutions begin exchanging the old $100 bill for the new polymer note, which was launched yesterday.
The public has 21 days, including today, to go into the banks and exchange their currency because—as of January 1st, 2020—the old bills will be useless.
Announcing the change last week, government officials said it is being done quickly as a national security measure.
In anticipation of the rush, Republic Bank announced on Monday it was changing its banking hours to facilitate customers exchanging their bills. However, the lines outside Republic’s Port of Spain branch were much longer compared to the other banks in the city.
According to the bank’s website, Republic Bank’s non-mall branches will remain open, without closure during the day, from:
• Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 4 pm;
• Fridays 8 am to 5 pm.
The opening hours at all of its mall branches remain the same: Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Bankers Association of T&T (BATT) also advised customers on Monday that provisions are being made to have ATMs dispensing the new polymer note as quickly as possible.