Redesign of least counterfeited New Taiwan Dollar bills too costly: Central Bank

Introducing new counterfeit-proof currency would cost nation NT$50 billion, says Perng Fai-nan

New bills

Central Bank of China issues new notes for people to trade their old ones at Bank of Taiwan, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, Taiwan Business Bank and other (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (Taiwan News)—Revamping New Taiwan Dollar bills, one of the world’s least counterfeited currencies, would take six years and cost taxpayers NT$50 billion (US$1.61 billion), said Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), the central bank’s governor.

Perng was responding to ruling Democratic Progressing Party (DPP) lawmakers Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), and Kuomintang legislators Lin Te-fu (林德福) and Luo Ming-tsai (羅明才), inquiry of whether the bank intended to revamp the nation’s currency at a meeting Thursday.

“There is no urgency to revise the currency design, at least the possibility will be slim during my term as central bank governor," said Perng.

The New Taiwan Dollar (NTD) design has excellent counterfeit-proof functions and designs, making it one of the least counterfeited currencies in the world.

Fake NTDs found circulating on the market every month averaged 0.27 per million banknotes in 2016, dropped to 0.17 per million bills by January 2017, according to the Central Bank.

In contrast, monthly figures for counterfeited U.S. dollar, Euro and the British Pound were much higher, respectively 4.5, 2.8, and 7.4 per one million banknotes.

Modifying the currency would be time consuming and costly, taking six years to retrieve the old banknotes, while costing the country NT$50 billion, said the governor.

A person holding new NT$1,000 banknotes. (CNA)

The current banknote designs capture the country's unique qualities, while incorporating crucial anti-counterfeit features.

Major themes of the existing New Taiwan Dollar design include education, technology and ecology, scenic images of Dabajian Mountain and Nanhu Mountain are also printed on the currency.

Refashioning the currency can improve its circulation on the market, but has little to do with a country’s economic performance, he explained.

Future changes to the currency will require public consent and discussion, said Perng.