National Bank to discontinue the exchange of Ukrainian hryvnia on 9 December

Since 1 June, Ukrainian refugees registered in Belgium have been able to convert hryvnia banknotes into euros at the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) and branches of participating banks. The banks in question are Belfius, Beobank, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING, KBC, CBC and KBC Brussels. Exchange at participating banks ceased on 15 November. Exchange at the NBB will cease on 9 December.

Exchange of the Ukrainian currency was made possible thanks to an agreement concluded between the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), the National Bank of Ukraine, the Belgian federal government and the banking sector. After Poland, Belgium was one of the first EU Member States to offer the limited exchange of Ukrainian hryvnias into euros (up to ₴10,000 per person).

Between 1 June 2022, when the arrangement started, and 8 December 2022, exchanges totaling €300,000 were handled free of charge by the NBB and branches of certain participating commercial banks. The NBB alone dealt with 522 transactions. The number of transactions has fallen sharply since the start of the arrangement. In November, for instance, only three exchanges were carried out, compared with more than 250 in June.

The National Bank of Ukraine believes that hryvnia holders have had sufficient time to exchange the currency and has therefore decided to put an end to the arrangement. For this reason, it will not extend its agreements with various central banks in the euro area.