Thursday, 23 July 2020 13:06

Got Change? Coin Shortage Hits Home

Got Change? Coin Shortage Hits Home

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Members of the community should smash their piggy banks and collect change to deposit at local banks this upcoming month. 

To help aid the nation-wide coin shortage or coin circulation disruption, the Adirondack Trust Company along with other banks have started an initiative to motivate the community to deposit coins. 

“Like other banks, we’re taking certain steps to be aware of what our positions are. There are certain things happening in retail all over the country that lots of different banks are responding to,” Patrick Reilly, chief marketing officer at Adirondack Trust, said. 

USA Today reported the coin shortage is due to an increased demand in coins. As the coronavirus spread across the world earlier this year, business closures and crippled economic activity in the United States developed as a result. That caused the circulation of coins to drop off significantly. The U.S. Mint, which manufactures the nation’s coin supply, also decreased staffing in response to the pandemic. 

On June 11, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the “normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin.” 

“In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the U.S. Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees,” the Federal Reserve wrote in a statement. “The Federal Reserve is working on several fronts to mitigate the effects of low coin inventories.”

Now, as the nation’s businesses have reopened, demand for coins has exceeded the available supply. Many businesses are posting signs outside asking for exact change or another form of payment. 

To help out these places of business, Adirondack Trust is going to start a mini campaign for coin return. Reilly said their financial institution has coin machines that sort and deposit coins for a fee. 

“We are implanting to make our customers and the community aware that they can take their coins and turn them in fee free,” Reilly said. 

The goal is to encourage members of the community to return change that the bank then recycles. The machines allow a direct deposit or can be converted into cash and other banks are thinking along similar lines in regards to returning coins. CNN reported the Community State Bank in Wisconsin launched a Coin Buy Back Program, which offers a $5 bonus for every $100 worth of coins turned in to any of its seven locations. Anyone who brings by coins, whether they’re a bank customer or not, can receive up to a maximum coin bonus of $500.

Forbes reported that actions were being taken to try and boost coins back into normal circulation to help stop the shortage. The Federal Reserve said they’re working with the U.S. Mint to minimize any constraints on Mint production and is advising banks and other depository institutions to only order what they absolutely need in terms of coins.

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