The Belgians still Exchange Francs 20 Years after the Introduction of the Euro
Official European currency – The euro was first introduced 20 years ago on January 1, 2002. It was put into circulation in 12 EU countries, including Belgium. Although a long time has passed since then, 17 billion Belgian francs remain in the hands of the Belgians, which is equivalent to 426 million euros.
“Every day we receive people who come and exchange their Belgian francs for euros. In 2021, for example, 74 thousand banknotes were brought to Belgian banks, which was equivalent to about 2 million euros,” said Sarah Bonmarij, a deputy spokesperson, in an interview with RTBF.
Unlike France, Italy, and several other countries, the National Bank of Belgium does not stop accepting historic Belgian francs for currency exchange.
Any banknote issued in this country since 1944 can be converted into euros. If you exchange a 3 thousand euro banknote, then the seller of the franc has to prove the origin of this money. In other cases, all you have to do is present your ID card and the banks will easily convert the francs into euros.
Once taken back, the Belgian franc notes are destroyed by the National Bank every six months. Each year, the quantity of old banknotes decreases by 5%.
The Belgian franc was born in 1832, two years after independence. Previously, many foreign currencies circulated in Belgium, French francs, Dutch guilders, Austrian coins, and even the Principality of Liège. Almost a century later, the euro has replaced all these currencies, which one day will only be in the hands of collectors.