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Shs50 coin still legal tender, BoU boss insists as he warns of loan sharks

By George Mangula

The Bank of Uganda deputy governor Michael Atingi-Ego says Shs50 coin should be accepted during business transactions, noting that his institution continues to receive reports of some people shying away from accepting and using the lowest shilling coin in the country.

“We gather that some people are shying away from accepting and using the shs.50 denominated coin. I encourage everyone to accept all the coins because they are legal tender; they are durable, and they facilitate competitive pricing in the shops and markets.”

Ego was on Friday speaking during the handover of refurbished Nakaloke Health Centre III Nakaloke, Mbale City.

The BoU official also urged local commercial banks to give people change in the banking halls and at the ATMs. “I also urge commercial banks to continue giving people change in the banking halls and at the ATMs. Anyone may also take their mutilated currency notes to commercial banks for a free exchange with clean notes to avoid overcrowding at the BoU branch during this COVID-19 era of social distancing.”

“I would like to add the use of electronic payments to the existing list of standard operating procedures for mitigating the spread of the novel coronavirus. You are all encouraged to embrace the use of mobile money and other e-payments because they are safe, convenient, and secure means of payment. The promotion of cashless payments is in line with the BoU’s strategic initiatives for controlling the high costs of printing, minting, and administering currency notes and coins.”

He also encouraged the public to carefully study the key facts documents and the consumer Protection guidelines before signing contracts for access to financial services from the supervised financial institutions in Uganda, adding that the public would avoid excessive costs of loans and unfair service fees. “And, in general, being “forewarned and forearmed” with the powerful knowledge of what you will be paying back and when, as well as your rights as a borrower from a supervised financial institution will enable you to protect against losing your collateral property.”

He however said this is not the case with loan sharks who do not provide full information from the onset, but instead tempt borrowers with quick cash.

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