It is happening again. Eleven months after I blogged (Friday, February 11, 2011 New currency notes for angpows: Ball is at the feet of our banks) about the shortage of new currency notes for the Lunar New Year, DBS Bank told me today that the authorities have not given them any new $100 notes.
They have notes in $2, $5, $10 and $50 denominations, but not the $100. It does seem a bit strange. I will ask the the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Currency Department again why this is so and whether the bank had made a request for the $100 notes.
Last year, I had asked MAS, after a prompting from a friend, why the Board of Commissioners of Currency could not have printed more new notes knowing that there was going to be a demand every year.
My friend said the giving of angpows "is a good family tradition that we would want to uphold and the government should play its part to make sure that there is sufficient supply of those notes every year."
MAS said then that it would only issue new notes when recirculated notes were insufficient to meet the demand for cash.
"This usually coincides with festive periods such as Chinese New Year. The amount of new notes to be issued in any given year, depends on the demand from banks and stock level of recirculated notes," it explained.
So, it is really up to our banks to ask for them. In other words, ask and it shall be given. How much new notes are put out by the authorities depends on the banks.
Question now is, whether DBS had asked MAS for new $100 notes this year and, if not, why not?