The European Central Bank have released their statistics today on the levels of counterfeit currency entering or being detected before it enters circulation. In the first half of 2012, a total of 251,000 counterfeit EURO banknotes were withdrawn from circulation and / or reported to ECB authorities. This means that the overall quantity of counterfeit banknotes withdrawn from circulation from January to June 2012 was 15.2% lower compared with the figures for the same period in 2011. At the same time, the ECB reported a decrease of 19% as regards the quantity recovered in the first half of 2012 compared with the previous six months.
The European Central Bank tabulated the recovered banknotes counterfeited by denomination and by percentage as follows (by quantity):
- €20 – 42.5% or 106,675 notes
- €50 – 34.5% or 86,595 notes
- €100 – 17% or 42,670 notes
- €10 – 2.5% or 6,275 notes
- €200 – 2.5% or 6,275 notes
- €5 – .05% or 1,255 notes
- €500 – .05% or 1,255 notes
From the statistics tabulated, the €20 and €50 denominations continue to be the most counterfeited. However, during the past six months, the share of counterfeit €20 banknotes has decreased and the share of counterfeit €50 banknotes was slightly increased. The €20 and €50 counterfeited denominations together accounted for 77.0% of the total number of notes recovered during the first half of 2012. The €100 banknote is the third most counterfeited denomination, accounting for 17.0% of the total number of notes recovered.
The share of the other denominations (€5, €10, €200 and €500) is very low. The majority (97.5%) of counterfeits recovered in the first half of 2012 were found in euro-zone area countries, with only around 2.0% being found in EU Member States outside the euro-zone area and 0.5% being found in other parts of the world.
When compared with the number of genuine EURO banknotes in circulation (on average 14.6 billion during the first half of 2012), the proportion of counterfeits remains very low. The European Central Bank (ECB) and the 17 national central banks of the euro-zone area – continue to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions. Genuine banknotes can be easily recognized using the simple “FEEL-LOOK-TILT” test.
For more information on the EURO banknotes in circulation and any questions about detecting possible counterfeit currency, please visit the website of the European Central Bank at: www.ecb.europa.eu