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Rebuffed chain now discounts guilders after DNB refuses exchange

Continued to take in ‘old’ currency

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Music store chain Free Record Shop has sold most of its hoard of 1.3 million expired guilders back to its customers. Earlier the company had attempted to exchange the guilders at DNB, the Dutch central bank, which refused the transaction, a move later upheld by a final decision of the Dutch State Council, the country’s highest legal authority.

After the change-over to euros, Free Record Shop had invited buyers to spend their left over guilders at the chain’s outlets. Its principal owner had assumed that the chain would be able to exchange the guilders for euros at the DNB eventually. DNB now is the sole remaining exchange agent for old guilder banknotes, since commercial banks according to plan ended this service after a two-year grace period for exchanges.

DNB (De Nederlandsche Bank) officials however did not facilitate Free Record Shop’s promotion campaign, stating that the guilders were received from commercial transactions after January 27, 2002, the date when the guilder ceased to be legal tender. DNB also contends for the same reason that the current wave of exchanges is illegal.

The music store chain, which also sells cd’s and dvd’s online, currently sells its guilders at a slightly favourable exchange rate: 25 guilders for 10 euros. Individuals exchanging guilders now at DNB will receive 11.35 euros, but must go in person to one of only four DNB offices in the country, or send their guilders by mail, together with a special form. Guilder coins (no cents or silver coins) still can be exchanged until January 1, 2007, banknotes issued after 1953 have until January 1, 2032. Coins and banknotes from other euro countries only can be exchanged at the central banks of their respective countries.

Before the current ‘sell-off,’ Free Record Shop had amassed 900.000 guilders in banknotes, and 300.000 guilders in coins.