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New Ft 2,000 and Ft 5,000 banknotes enter circulation

Redesigned HUF 2,000 and HUF 5,000 banknotes are entering the market today, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) has announced, as another step in renewing Hungarian banknotes.

It is likely to take a few months before the new banknotes become widespread, said Ferenc Gerhardt, deputy governor of the MNB, at a press conference Tuesday, according to reports. The old notes will stay in circulation until the end of July. As of August 1, only the new notes will be accepted.

Gerhardt noted that new security features have been incorporated into the new banknotes, while aesthetic design elements have remained. The security features may be felt by touch, while the watermark is visible when holding the notes against the light. 

The MNB announced in September 2014 that new Hungarian banknotes will be printed in the period of 2014-2018, the newly issued notes being harder to counterfeit. Opposition parties immediately criticized the government, saying that the revamp suggested that it had dropped plans to introduce the euro. MNB Governor György Matolcsy said at the end of last year that the earliest Hungary could adopt the euro as its currency may be no sooner than in 15 years, meaning 2031.

So far HUF 10,000 and HUF 20,000 banknotes have been revamped. With the addition of HUF 2,000 and HUF 5,000 notes, only the HUF 1,000 and HUF 500 notes have not yet undergone a redesign.