About the Euro Changeover

In this section you will find a summary concerning the stages of euro introduction in Latvia and receive practical advice on preparing for the euro changeover. We want our customers to feel well informed, secure and safe about the upcoming changes.

Key information about banking services after the introduction of the euro 

On 1 January 2014, Latvia joined the eurozone. Below you will find the most important information about banking services after the introduction of the euro:

Availability of banking services

Cash

Customers are encouraged to take their time in exchanging lats for euros in the first days of January

  • Cash exchanges of lats for euros will be available at a fixed rate of 0.702804 and with no
    commission at Nordea bank for six months until 30 June 2014.
  • Cash payments in lats will be possible from 1 till 14 January, with change given in the euro
    currency.
  • In order to perform cash transactions at Nordea customer service units, a personal identity
    document (passport, e-ID card or driver's licence) must be presented

Cards and ATMs

 For easier settlements we invite customers to use payment cards

  • Credit card payments are the most convenient and fastest way of paying for purchases.
  • Euro banknotes in denominations of 10 and 50 are available at Nordea ATMs.  After 2 January,
    ATMs will be gradually filled with euro banknotes in denominations of 5 and 20.
  • Cash deposits in both lats and euros into the ATMs of the “friendly” bank “Citadele” will be
    accepted until 14 January of this year.
  • Payment cards will be valid without any changes until their expiry.

Payments

Names and functions of payments have been changed

  • Nordea offers four types of payments – Internal payments, European EUR payments,
    Currency payments, Payments between customer accounts.
  • Domestic payments in lats, which were previously executed to other banks in Latvia,
    will become European EUR payments and will be executable to any EU/EEA Member
    State. As before, two types of payments – standard and urgent – will be available:
    • the fee for European payments of standard urgency in the Netbank will be the same
      as the one levied for domestic payments until now – EUR 0.28 (LVL 0.20), 
    • the fee for urgent European payments in EUR will be EUR 14.23 (LVL 10.00).
  • Payments to other accounts with Nordea Latvija will become internal payments. As before,
    these will be free of charge in the Netbank.
  • SEPA payments will be replaced by European EUR payments. These will no longer be
    offered separately.
  • Currency payments – also in the future, when using currency payments, it will be possible
    to perform euro payments to countries outside the EU/EEA, as well as payments in any other
    currencies (e.g. dollar payments).

Net bank

The types of payments and their location in the Netbank have been changed

The Nordea Netbank offers four types of payments – Internal payments, European EUR payments, Currency payments, Payments between customer accounts.


Types of payments in the Netbank

  • Internal payments – payments to other accounts with Nordea Latvija in any currency.
  • European EUR payments – payments in the euro currency to any other bank in Latvia and
    elsewhere in Europe.
  • Currency payments – payments in any other currencies to other banks, as well as euro
    payments outside the EU/EEA Member States.
  • Payments between customer accounts – payments between a customer's accounts
    within the Nordea Latvija.


Location of defined payments 
  • Previously defined payments in lats to other banks are available in the form of European
    EUR payments.
  • Defined payments, of which Nordea Latvija is the beneficiary, are available in the form of
    Internal payments.
  • Previously defined SEPA payments are available in the form of European EUR payments.

 

Mobile application

For more convenient conversion from lats into euros and vice versa, we invite you to use the currency calculator

  • The mobile application provides information on the nearest ATMs or customer service
    units, a loan calculator and the possibility to register your income and expenditures.
  • The mobile Netbank is a convenient solution for remote payments.

Loans, deposits and savings

For all the loan, deposit and savings contracts concluded prior to the introduction of the euro the principle of continuity shall apply, and they shall remain in force in accordance with the provisions of the contracts concluded previously; the currency shall be converted at the official rate (0.702804), while the values expressed as a percentage shall not change.

Customer Service Units

Nordea customer service units will continue to operate in accordance with the usual procedure and working hours.

  • Until 31 January, the operating hours of the Customer Service Unit “Nordea Māja” will be
    extended by one hour until 6 p.m.
  • Nordea customer service units in Riga and regions will be open as usual. Available here.  
  • The Nordea Contact Centre will be available on a 24/7 basis by calling 67 005 788 or
    writing to info@nordea.lv.

 

June, 2013

Received ECOFIN (Economic and Financial Affairs Council) recommendation –Latvia is invited to join the euro zone. EU council makes a political decision – to invite Latvia to join the euro zone


July, 2013

ECOFINs final decision to invite Latvia to join the euro zone. EU councils confomation of irrvacably fixed exchange rate at which the national currency wil be replaced by the euro.


1 October, 2013 – 30 June, 2014

The period of the parallel price display – prices of goods and services are shown both in lats and euros. This will allow preparing on time for the change of payment currency and will facilitate comparison of the product value in euro and lats.


1 November, 2013 – 1 January, 2014

The Bank of Latvia issues the euro coins and banknotes for credit institutions and distributes euro starter kits.


1 January, 2014

Euro adoption date Businesses (including credit institutions) will no longer give change in lats starting from the euro adoption date.


1 – 14 January 2014

Period of simultaneous circulation of both LVL and EUR (LVL accepted but change given out only in EUR).


1 January – 31 June 2014

Cash exchange for free in commercial banks.


1 January – 31 March 2014

Cash exchange without commission fee in branches of “Latvijas Pasts VAS” in 302 populated not served by branches of commercial banks.


From 2014 onwards

Lats exchange to euros without any commission fee will be possible in the branches of the Bank of Latvia in Riga, Daugavpils and Liepaja.

Trading and service providing companies, as well as financial institutions will also be closely involved in the currency exchange process.

Taking into account the overall principles and euro changeover scenario, corporations will have to ensure compliance with the requirements (dual currency circulation period, compulsory period of dual price display, consumer protection issues, etc.).

The euro changeover will significantly facilitate business and trade transactions with partners in other European countries. Some of its bigger benefits will be price stability, promotion of investments and development of tourism.

We recommend thinking about switching to virtual payments on time taking into account the expected surge of cash shortly before and after euro changeover day.

We offer a currency calculator through the Nordea Mobile application.

For larger corporations an appointment with the bank is recommended to consult on future mandatory actions
Special cash flow planning is essential:

  • Coins (POS, cash collection).
  • Special cash ordering, storing, handling and safety of cash.

IT systems should be adapted as soon as possible, considering that starting from 1 October prices will be shown in both currencies.

General Questions
What will the euro exchange rate be?
The Bank of Latvia official EUR to LVL exchange rate is EUR 1= LVL 0.702804

What are the benefits of the euro changeover?

  • The euro exchange will allow consumers to more easily compare prices on goods and services in various countries, which, in turn, promotes competition among traders and service providers.
  • The single currency – EUR – is advantageous for tourists. When travelling through the euro zone countries, tourists do not have to exchange the currency of one country for that of another country. This makes travelling more convenient and cheaper, because one does not have to exchange currencies and pay the associated commissions.
Cash
What will happen to cash?
We recommend converting all cash to non-cash via deposit ATMs or Nordea Customer Service Units before the euro changeover date. LVL reserves or money remaining on bank accounts will be converted automatically and free of charge to EUR on the euro changeover date.
When will ATMS dispense euros?
Until 31 December 2013, ATMs will dispense only lats. Starting from 1 January 2014, ATMs will dispense only euros: 112 Nordea ATMs will be provided with EUR on time.
During the first two weeks after the euro changeover date, Nordea and Citadele bank’s cash deposit machines will also accept cash deposits in lats.
How can I exchange money?
The most convenient way is via virtual exchange. It is advisable to deposit all cash money reserves to your bank accounts before the euro changeover date. The lat reserves or money remaining on bank accounts will be converted automatically and free of charge to EUR on the euro changeover date.
How long will money be exchanged?
In cash, LVL will be exchangeable into EUR at the official exchange rate and without any commission fees in banks for six months after adoption of the euro, namely from 1 January to 30 June 2014. After that, LVL in cash will be exchangeable to the EUR without any time limitations in the Bank of Latvia. For three months after adoption of the euro, cash also will be exchangeable for free in 302 post offices of Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post). For two weeks after the euro changeover (until 15 January), small amounts of remaining lats will also be accepted in shops and change will be given in euros.
How much will the money changeover cost?
Conversion of money in connection with the euro adoption from LVL into EUR will be free for people as all costs will be covered by banks.
How will the price list change on cash deposit via ATM closer to the euro changeover date?
In the context of euro introduction, no changes are planned in the Nordea price list. Cash deposits via ATM in the national currency will still be free of charge. However, a commission will be applied to cash deposits on accounts at Nordea Customer Service Units. Cash deposits on accounts at Nordea Customer Service Units will continue to be subject to a bank fee.
Deposits and Investments
What will happen to deposits and investments?
Upon adoption of the euro, all deposit and investment contracts entered into before the euro adoption date will be subject to the contract continuity principle, according to which the contract will remain in force on the same terms and conditions, the currency will be converted at the official exchange rate and the values expressed in percentages will remain unchanged.
Clients and transactions
What will happen with current bank accounts?
Current accounts in lats will be converted to euro accounts. The account numbers will remain the same. Conversion from lats to euros will be carried out on 31 December 2013 at 24:00 at the official exchange rate without a service charge. If a customer has two accounts – one in LVL and one in EUR, after the euro changeover date both accounts will be euro accounts.
How long following the euro changeover can lats be used?
To ensure convenient cash circulation following the euro changeover, a two-week dual circulation period of both currencies – LVL and EUR – is planned. During this period it will be possible to pay for goods and services in both currencies. After that two-week period, cash in EUR will become the only legal tender.
How much will the money changeover cost?
Conversion of money in connection with the euro adoption from lats into euros will be for free for people as all costs will be covered by banks. Cash lats will be exchangeable into euros at the official exchange rate and without any commission fees in banks for six months after adoption of the euro, namely from 1 January to 30 June 2014. For three months until 31 March 2014 after adoption of the euro, cash also will be exchangeable for free in some of the Latvian Post offices (in cities where there are no banks, ATMs or customer service units located close by). Starting from 1 January 2014 all payments will be processed in EUR. From the same date, all invoices, checks and transaction receipts can only be drawn up in EUR. This change will be made automatically for direct payments.
Will bank charges or prices for services be shown in two currencies?
Yes, during the period when prices will be required to be shown in both currencies, i.e. from 1 October 2013 to 30 June 2014, banks will specify prices for their services on price lists, such as the account opening / maintenance fee, card fees, etc. in both currencies. Banking service fees will be recalculated from lats into euros at the official exchange rate, applying the rounding-off methods laid down in legislation.
Loans
What will happen to loans?
Upon adoption of the euro, all loan contracts entered into until the euro adoption date will be subject to the contract continuity principle, according to which the contract will remain in force on the same terms and conditions, the currency will be converted at the official exchange rate and the values expressed in percentages will remain unchanged. If your loan has a variable interest rate linked to the lats' RIGIBOR index, then this index will be replaced by the EURIBOR index for the same period.
Corporate Customers

In what order will EUR starter kits be distributed? How many starter kits will be available for enterprises?

  • The enterprises which have agreements with the bank will be able to receive EUR subfront loading starting from 10 December 2013. The amount ordered will be blocked on the company’s account. There is no limit for issued sums in EUR.
  • Micro-enterprises* that have signed a contract with the bank will be able to receive EUR subfront loading from 27 October 2013. The necessary amount will be blocked on the enterprise’s account. Such enterprises will be able to receive up to EUR 10 000 (50 large euro starter kits, each valued at EUR 200).
  • In order to facilitate the receipt of EUR and enhance cash transportation safety, the bank recommends signing a contract with an armoured transportation encashment company such as Evor, G4S or EUROCASH1 Latvija to ensure secure delivery to the enterprise.

How will the currency exchange affect customers who have a contract with the bank regarding card acceptance at sales points?

  • Card acceptance terminals (POS) will have new software, which will switch transaction currency to euros. This will be provided remotely as early as November / December.
  • After the close of business on 31 December 2013, the euro currency will be automatically activated as a transaction currency for the POS terminal. Service providing companies, whose POS terminal currency for some reason does not change, can call the Card processing centre “First Data Latvia” (FDL) support number written on the POS terminal. FDL experts will provide guidance on how to resolve the situation.
How will specific transactions made in lats in 2013 to the recipient’s account change in 2014?
Transactions made in lats in 2013 and processed in 2014 will be automatically converted into EUR at the official exchange rate and credited to the merchant or service provider account, which will be a euro currency account starting on 1 January 2014.
How will Netbank transactions appear?
All Netbank transactions made until 31 December 2013 will be shown in LVL, but starting from the euro adoption date the Netbank account balance will be shown and all transactions processed in EUR.
Legal Questions
Do contracts need to be switched?
No credit, deposit or other bank contract must be switched due to euro adoption. All contracts entered into before the euro adoption date will be subject to the contract continuity principle, according to which the contract will remain in force on the same terms and conditions and the currency will be converted at the official exchange rate.
Pensions
What will happen to savings within the 2nd Pension Pillar?
Savings within the 2nd Pension Pillar will be converted to accounted in euro at the official exchange rate. No other changes following the euro changeover will be felt by customers.
What will happen to savings within the 3rd Pension Pillar?
Savings within the 3rd Pension Pillar in lats (for example, within the Nordea Balanced Pension Plan) will be converted to accounted in euro at the official exchange rate. Customers with savings in EUR (for example, within the Nordea Progressive Pension Plan) will not feel any changes after the euro changeover date.