KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Malaysia’s currency in circulation (CIC) grew by 8.0 per cent to RM162.1 billion in 2022 from RM150.1 billion in 2021, compared to a record high of 15.1 per cent in 2021.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) in its Annual Report 2022 released today said that it was attributable to the public holding less cash for precautionary reasons as Malaysia transitioned out from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the continued acceleration of digital payments, similar to the trend observed in many other countries.
It said the central bank was responsible for the entire currency-issuing value chain, including planning, issuance, circulation and withdrawal of currency notes and coins.
“In our daily currency operations, the bank processes millions of notes each day using high- speed processing machines at our automated cash centre (ACC) and five regional offices in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
“In 2022 we processed a total of 2.41 billion pieces of notes nationwide compared to 1.84 billion in 2021,” it said.
Besides that, BNM said Malaysia’s counterfeiting index was insignificant at 0.3 parts per million (ppm) as of end-December 2022, well below the international counterfeiting benchmark index of 15 ppm.
“Our notes are embedded with numerous security features. Counterfeits detected are mostly poor imitations of genuine notes without any security features,” it said.
Likewise, the central bank said, it procured coin blanks through open tender for minting at its own facility Kilang Wang.
“To promote a greater appreciation of numismatics among the public, ringgit notes with special serial numbers with repetitive prefixes and numbers, such as LL0000001-0000010 and LL8888888, are regularly auctioned,” it said.
In 2022, BNM said the bank via an appointed auctioneer, conducted two online auctions that attracted strong interest from collectors and bidders from around the world.
In line with the provisions of Currency Act 2020 (CA2020), the bank has completed the registration of four cash-in-transit (CIT) companies as registered currency processors (RCPs) under the Act on April 1, 2022.
“In 2022, we issued two guidelines for the members of the public to improve handling of currency, revised Guidelines on Reproduction of Malaysian Currency Image issued on April 1, 2022 as well as revised Guidelines on Quality of Currency and Handling of Suspected Counterfeit Currency issued on Dec 22, 2022,” it said.
Looking forward, BNM said it would continue its work on strengthening the regulatory framework for currency management operations by issuing two new policy documents in 2023.
“These policy documents will impose the necessary requirements on financial institutions (FIs) and RCPs to observe the quality and integrity of currency, and manage their business, affairs and activities prudently, professionally and with integrity,” it added.