Following the invasion of Ukraine, millions of Ukrainian refugees left the country with some of their savings in hryvnia, the Ukrainian currency. However, banks in Europe have stopped exchanging Ukrainian currency. Consequently, Ukrainians are struggling to exchange cash in Europe. Fortunately, PKO Bank, the largest bank in Poland, allows you to exchange your Ukrainian cash into local currency for free.
Read this post in Ukrainian: Як біженцям з України обміняти гроші в Польщі без комісії
Exchange Hryvnia into Zloty in Poland
Since April 1st, PKO Bank Polski allows Ukrainians to exchange their national currency for Polish zlotys at selected branches in Poland. Hryvnias bank notes in denominations of 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 will be exchanged up to a total amount of 10,000 hryvnia (305.81 euro) per person in bank branches throughout the country.
Why banks in Europe stopped converting the Ukrainian currency: Since the start of the war, the National Bank of Ukraine has suspended the exchange of hryvnias into foreign cash to protect the country’s foreign exchange reserves. This has limited European banks’ ability to convert the currency into dollars or euros. Moreover, swapping hryvnias means risking big financial losses.
How to Convert Hryvnia into Zloty
To exchange hryvnia into local currency in Poland, you need to be adult Ukrainian citizen with a Ukrainian ID card in plastic form issued after 2016 (internal passport) or a Ukrainian foreign passport. If you have the appropriate documentation, visit the selected PKO Bank branches to exchange your cash.
Conditions for Exchanging Hryvnia in Poland
- You will exchange up to 10,000 hryvnia (UAH) for one person. You can visit a bank branch several times and exchange the currency. However, it cannot be more than 10,000 UAH
- The exchange will be possible at the rounded, official exchange rate (and not the one offered by exchange offices)
- Hryvnia exchange rate is: 1 UAH is 0.14 PLN (valid until 4/8/2022)
- You will not be charged fees and commissions for the exchange (black market exchanges have lower rates and high fees)
- Only banknotes with the following face values will be purchased: UAH 100, 200, 500 and 1000,
- Damaged banknotes will not be exchanged, i.e. banknotes that are frayed, excessively soiled, stained, discoloured, or otherwise damaged, including as a result of placing a permanent inscription, overprint, drawing or other sign, as well as banknotes that are significantly torn, sewn or fastened, broken, damp, decayed and crumbling, and banknotes contaminated with liquids or solids
- You will receive the money in cash, but if you already have an account at PKO Bank Polski, you can transfer to the account at the branch
In branches you can exchange hryvnia (UAH) only into zlotys (PLN). However, you can open a foreign currency account and then exchange zlotys (PLN) for EUR, GBP, USD, CHF, DKK, NOK, SEK, CZK, HRK or HUF. There may be a fee to convert to a different currency on your foreign currency account. Ask the advisor for the details of the currency account.
If you have the required documents and need to exchange your local Ukrainian currency in Poland, find PKO Bank location to convert hryvnia here.
For people from Ukraine who have a Ukrainian foreign passport or Ukrainian ID card in a plastic version (internal passport), issued after 2016, we offer PKO Konto bez Granic – account maintenance is free for 12 months from the date of opening the account.
The hryvnia (UAH) exchange program for zlotys (PLN) is the result of cooperation between the National Bank of Poland and the National Bank of Ukraine. Poland has received over 2 million more refugees from Ukraine, more than any other European countries.
Free Bank Accounts for Ukrainian Refugees
- Revolut Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- bunq Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- Wise Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- Monese Account for Ukrainian Refugees in EEA and UK
- Moneta Bank: Free Account for Ukrainians in Czech Republic
- Bank Accounts for Ukrainian Refugees in Latvia