January 13, 2020 / 6:54 AM / a month ago

Australia's central bank says bushfire-damaged notes can be redeemed

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said on Monday bushfire victims can submit damaged banknote claims to redeem their lost money.

The RBA posted an explainer on its website along with claim forms, specifying the steps required to get reimbursements.

“If you have banknotes that have been damaged in the bushfires, you can submit a damaged banknote claim,” the RBA said. “The Reserve Bank will determine the value of the damaged banknotes and reimburse you the assessed amount.”

It takes the RBA anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 months to assess mutilated notes, depending upon the severity of the damage. In 2019 alone, the RBA paid out A$4.2 million ($2.90 million) in damaged note claims.

The steps to make a claim include collecting the “banknote debris”, placing it into a plastic bag and labelling the bag “bushfire.” The bag can then be taken to the local commercial bank.

Fires have ripped through more than 11 million hectares (27.2 acres) of bush land since the fire season began in September, destroying thousands of homes and killing 28 people and more than a billion wildlife.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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