Counterfeiting down for euro bank notes
- Published: Aug 13, 2018, 4 AM
As far as counterfeits are concerned, there is good news for the euro.
Fewer and fewer counterfeits are circulating. The European Central Bank said on July 27 that a total of 301,000 counterfeit euro bank notes were pulled from circulation in the first half of 2018, down 17.1 percent compared to the second half of 2017 and 9.1 percent less than in the first half of that year.
That is in contrast to the total of 899,000 fakes pulled from the system in 2015, and a sign that the advanced security measures introduced in the second Europa series of euro notes are working. The Europas started with the €5 note in 2013, followed by the €10, €20, and €50 notes in 2014, 2015 and 2017, respectively.
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In total, 88.8 percent of the counterfeit notes were found in countries that use the euro. Approximately 10.3 percent were found in European Union member states outside the euro zone and 0.9 percent were found in other parts of the world.
The ECB says that about 83 percent of the bogus bills were €20 and €50 notes. The next highest was the €100 note at 10.9 percent. There are now well over 21 billion euro bank notes in circulation, with a total value of more than €1.1 trillion ($1.272 trillion).
In comparison, the Federal Reserve estimated that about $1.67 trillion of United States currency was in circulation worldwide as of June 27, 2018, of which $1.62 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes. The Treasury Department says there is about one counterfeit for every 10,000 genuine U.S. notes.
The ECB also announced that, in the first half of 2019, it plans to issue the new €100 and €200 bank notes at the same time. These will be the last two denominations in the Europa series. It was previously announced that the €500 note will no longer be printed.
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