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NBU and NBP Wrap Up the Project to Return Hryvnia Cash Exchanged Abroad by Forced Migrants

NBU and NBP Wrap Up the Project to Return Hryvnia Cash Exchanged Abroad by Forced Migrants

At the end of November, the National Bank of Ukraine received all hryvnia cash exchanged by European central banks in 2022.

In 2022, the NBU signed agreements with the central banks of Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Latvia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Sweden, and the Netherlands that allowed exchanging hryvnia cash for local currencies for Ukrainian citizens who were forced to leave their homes due to the start of russia's large-scale invasion. Under these agreements, after the end of the exchange transactions, the NBU repurchased the hryvnia cash received by the central banks, which totaled UAH 970,164,300.

Narodowy Bank Polski was the main hub that had been accumulating hryvnia cash exchanged in all ten European countries by the time it returned to Ukraine. It was NBP which has always been the NBU’s reliable partner, made a significant contribution to the architecture of the hryvnia exchange project, and became the first central bank to introduce this format of support for Ukrainians.

One month into the full-scale invasion, the NBU and NBP already managed to launch a cash-hryvnia-to-zloty exchange capability in Poland. This resulted in a hryvnia cash exchange program that was unprecedented in scale. The NBU implemented the program jointly with nine other EU central banks. For this partnership initiative, the NBU and NBP received the Central Banking Award in the Currency Manager category in 2023.

"The National Bank of Ukraine is sincerely grateful for the help and compassion of all European central banks that have found the opportunity to support Ukrainian migrants in this way. The NBU expresses its special gratitude to the highly professional NBP team and to Governor Adam Glapiński for long-term comprehensive cooperation and support of reforms aimed at strengthening the NBU’s institutional capacity and integration into the European community of central banks,” NBU Governor Andriy Pyshnyy said

With the outbreak of a full-scale war with russia, cooperation between the NBU and NBP teams has deepened significantly. On the very day of 24 February 2022, NBP offered its help to the NBU in the areas where it was the most needed: providing Ukraine with funds under the currency swap agreement, supporting the NBU in its efforts to maintain business continuity, and assisting in the communications with international partners.

Currently, professional cooperation between the NBU and NBP continues and develops both within the existing areas (holding the joint annual research conference, implementing several technical assistance projects) and in overcoming new challenges such as assessing the impact of Ukrainian migrants on the labor market and economy of both countries.

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