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The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) has clarified its decision to introduce a $5,000 note, bearing the image of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Hugh Lawson Shearer, in September.
Responding to questions from journalists at the BoJ’s quarterly press briefing, today (May 20) BoJ Governor, Derick Latibeaudiere, said the introduction of the $5,000 note is in keeping with international standards.
“The international standard is that when your highest currency is 60 per cent or more of your currency in circulation, it provides a signal that you need to move to another,” he explained.
He said the $1,000 note currently accounts for just below 80 per cent of the total value of the currencies in circulation and, therefore, the introduction of the new note would take pressure off the $1,000 bill. He added that the fact that the country’s highest note valued only a little over US$11 was also a deciding factor.
Mr. Latibeaudiere pointed out that the new note would facilitate transactions for individuals who move large amounts of money and, therefore, it is not expected that it will be fully utilised by all Jamaicans. He said underutilisation of the note would not be unusual, as this is also the case with regard to the highest currency denominations in the United Kingdom and the United States.
“I don’t know if you ever travel to the United States and every time you tender a $100 bill, people look at it, or if you go to Britain and tender a