The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the three note-issuing banks (Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited) announced today (Tuesday) the issue of the 2010 new series Hong Kong banknotes.
Consistent with the current series, the new series will consist of five denominations, each adopting the same colour scheme. The designs of HK$1,000 and HK$500 were unveiled today, and these two denominations will be put into circulation in the last quarter of 2010 and early 2011 respectively. Further public announcements will be made nearer the time when the new notes are to be put into circulation. The design of the remaining three denominations, HK$100, HK$50 and HK$20, will be unveiled around the middle of next year.
The new banknotes have incorporated state-of-the-art security features, the locations of which will be the same across all five denominations. The five more important key features are:
People with visual impairments will find the new banknotes easier to use as Braille and tactile lines have been added to help them differentiate the denominations. A new note measuring template, sponsored by the HKMA and the three note-issuing banks, will be made available through voluntary agencies serving the visually impaired community.
"For the past 6 years Hong Kong has seen a continuous decrease in counterfeit rate. Currently there is less than 1 piece of fake note in every 1 million pieces of notes in circulation. We should not be complacent and must ensure that we are staying ahead of counterfeiters. There is a need to revamp the design of our banknotes and introduce latest available security features to minimise the risk of being counterfeited," said Mr Norman Chan, Chief Executive of the HKMA.
"We have used state-of-the-art security designs and also plate-making and printing technology to enhance the anti-counterfeiting capability and recognisability of the new notes. The new notes also incorporates enhanced accessibility features to facilitate visually impaired people to differentiate the denominations," Mr Chan added.
The new banknotes have been approved by the Financial Secretary and are printed by Hong Kong Note Printing Limited. The designs of the notes are individual note-issuing banks' responsibilities.
Mr Benjamin Hung, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited, said, "Standard Chartered's new series of banknotes are a continuing evolution of the design theme first unveiled in the 1980s - refreshed and refined to incorporate the latest world-class security features specified by the HKMA. The reverse side of the new notes celebrates Chinese inventions and their influence on modern security technology. With almost 150 years of experience as one of Hong Kong's note-issuing banks, Standard Chartered is delighted to continue its contributions towards the ongoing development of our city's financial sector."
Mr Peter Wong, Chief Executive of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), said, "HSBC is the largest note issuer in Hong Kong and our banknotes are the most commonly seen in the city. Our new series of banknotes reflect some of the important occasions that the people of Hong Kong celebrate every year. To illustrate the unique culture of Hong Kong, the spiritual home of HSBC, our in-house designers have incorporated into the new series the images of local celebration activities, Chinese calligraphy and auspicious Chinese patterns. It is also the first time that images of Hong Kong people have been included in the design of the whole series of HSBC's banknotes."
Mr He Guangbei, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK), said, "The front panels of BOCHK's new notes will have a fresh but familiar look as we continue to use the two symbolic images - the bauhinia and the Bank of China Tower, with a brand-new design. The back panels feature beautiful natural scenery, highlighting the unique and majestic side of Hong Kong. We hope the designs of the new note series will help promote the natural wonders as well as significant landmarks of Hong Kong. As a responsible corporate citizen, we endeavour to increase environmental awareness of the public and contribute to the sustainability of society through the design of the new series, making "The Pearl of the Orient" even shinier and brighter."
All existing banknotes continue to be legal tender. They will continue to circulate along the new banknotes and will be gradually withdrawn from circulation when they become unfit for circulation.
The HKMA will launch an extensive education programme to raise public awareness of the new banknotes. Seminars will be conducted for banks, retailers and money changers; and special outreach seminars will be arranged for centres for the elderly and people with visual impairments. Exhibitions will be held in different districts in Hong Kong to let people view and feel the new banknotes before the notes go into circulation (see schedule of exhibitions at Annex). An interactive online-learning programme is available on the HKMA website at http://www.hkma.gov.hk, and leaflets illustrating the new security features are available to the public at the HKMA office, branches of the note-issuing banks and District Offices.
For further enquiries please contact:
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
Tel: 2878 1802
Tel: 2878 1213
Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited
Head of Media & Government Relations
Tel: 2820 3036
Senior Corporate Affairs Manager
Tel: 2820 3837
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
Head of External Affairs, Group Communications (Asia)
Tel: 2822 4930
Senior Corporate Communications Manager, Group Communications (Asia)
Tel: 2822 4992
Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited
Chief Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: 2826 6159
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: 2826 6133
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
20 July 2010