Minnesota Banks Ask Consumers to Deposit, Use Spare Change Due to Coin Shortages

Check with your local bank about depositing coins

July 22, 2020 (Eden Prairie, MN). It’s time to empty out your piggy banks to help small businesses. Minnesota banks are asking consumers to spend their small change or deposit it at their local bank as the pandemic-related shutdowns have created a critical slowdown of coin circulation nationwide.

When COVID-19 restrictions went into place and establishments like retail shops, bank branches, and laundromats—the typical places where coins enter society—closed, it significantly slowed the normal rate of coin circulation. Consumers migrated to shopping online or, if in person, used debit and credit cards more often to avoid physical contact. This meant the coins that businesses would have normally received in change were not being circulated back into the system.

“In the beginning of 2020, more than four billion coins were deposited, or recirculated, each month,” said Joe Witt, President/CEO of the Minnesota Bankers Association. “Those numbers dropped to less than two billion beginning in April.”

As businesses are reopening, demand from merchants to stock their coins at higher levels is increasing, but a large number of coins remain with consumers. This is creating a crucial issue because recirculated coins represent more than 80% of coin supply.

“There is adequate coin in the economy, however the slowed pace of circulation means that a sufficient amount of coins may not be readily available where needed,” said Witt. Many local banks have coin counting machines for their customers’ coin deposits, or you can ask if they are accepting rolled coins. Using exact change when making purchases will also help put more coins into circulation.

As of April 2020, the U.S. Treasury estimates that the total value of coins in circulation is $47.8 billion, up from $47.4 billion as of April 2019.

The Federal Reserve projects the gap between supply and demand between 2.3 to 3.5 billion coins each month through the end of 2020.

The Minnesota Bankers Association is the state’s largest trade association devoted exclusively to representing commercial banks. The MBA was founded in 1889 and represents 95% of Minnesota’s banks. The MBA is proud to support our member banks as they work to ensure vibrant communities throughout the state. For more information, please visit our website at www.minnbankers.com .    

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Media Contact: Carla Bush, Director of Communications/Education, Minnesota Bankers Association, carlab@minnbankers.com; 952-857-2605