The exchange of Grivnia banknotes in Belgium has been made possible by negotiations between the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) which resulted in a legal agreement specifying, among other things, the logistical arrangements and the exchange rate to be applied. The National Bank is carrying out this work at the behest of the Belgian State. The NBB received the mandate for that purpose following today’s decision by the Federal Council of Ministers. Further details of this agreement were worked out with Febelfin.
After Poland, Belgium is one of the first EU Member States to offer a service enabling Ukrainian refugees to exchange their national banknotes for euros. However, various Member States have announced that they will shortly follow the example set by Poland and Belgium.
As soon as war broke out in Ukraine, Ukrainian refugees faced the issue of exchanging their banknotes in the EU Member States. That did not seem easy, in either legal or operational respects. For example, a scheme at European level was not feasible. Since then, some EU Member States have sought alternatives on a bilateral basis. Intensive negotiations by the NBB with the NBU and between the Belgian federal government, the NBB and the banking sector have now made the service possible in Belgium.
NBB Director Tim Hermans: “We consider it our humanitarian duty to offer this service to the refugees and we are therefore pleased that, thanks to our efforts, this service can now be made available in our country.”
Febelfin CEO Karel Baert: “After the provision of bank accounts for Ukrainian refugees, this is another example of what the banks are doing to help. We would like to thank the Minister of Finance and the National Bank of Belgium for working with us to make this possible. It demonstrates once again that, with joint efforts, much can be achieved.”