Swedish central bank struggles in jumbo-sized war on piggy banks

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Riksbank governor Stefan Ingves has faced some tough challenges in the last year – attempting to boost Sweden’s stubbornly low inflation rate while holding down a “night job” as head of the group responsible for implementing global banking reforms.

But his latest fight may be the hardest, as the central bank struggles in its battle against the humble piggybank.

The world’s oldest central bank is preparing for its biggest ever banknote and coin changeover, with all old 1, 2 and 5-krona coins becoming invalid after June 30.

The bank warned six months ago that Swedish households are holding more than SKr2.6bn in soon-to-be worthless coins, but with only three months to go it announced today that it had only dented the total, with more than SKr2bn of them still in circulation.

That’s 1.4 billion individual coins, weighing as much as 25 fully-loaded jumbo jets, according to the bank, and “most of them risk lying forgotten and hidden in jars, piggybanks, wallets, pockets and cars”.

In a light-hearted effort to encourage more residents to trade in their coins, the Riksbank has taken to posting Wanted posters around Sweden calling for the old coins to be handed in.

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