The number of counterfeit Euro banknotes removed from circulation in the Eurozone in 2015, reached its highest level since 2002, reports DW with reference to data of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Their total number amounted to 899 thousand – 60 thousand more than in 2014. The previous record was set in 2009 and was about 860 thousand cuts.
The ECB States that the volume of counterfeit banknotes is small compared to the number of genuine banknotes in circulation (on average 18 billion pieces in the second half of 2015).
Almost 11% of the total number of fakes in the past year were found by police, trading companies and banks in Germany – which is also the highest rate since 2002.
Within the country the number of counterfeit banknotes in circulation rose last year by 51%.
Specializing in eurobankefg counterfeiters most often counterfeited banknotes in denominations of 20 Euro in the second half, they accounted for 46.2% of seized fakes. In Germany, the crooks prefer the 50 Euro banknote. Almost half were withdrawn in the country of counterfeit money – 49% – were this dignity. In the second place banknotes in € 20, the share in Germany is almost 40%.
The damage from the counterfeiters of the world financial system, last year was 39 million Euro.
This caused the financial system of Germany damage increased from 3.3 million to 4.4 million euros. In 2004 and 2005, the loss was even greater, amounting to 6.1 million euros and 4.9 million euros, respectively. This is because in that period counterfeiters more often forged notes of higher denomination – mostly 100 – and 200-EUR.
The increasing number of fakes in circulation in the Eurozone has forced the ECB to take retaliatory measures, said the Board member of the Bundesbank’s Carl-Ludwig Thiele. So, in November 2015 was released a new banknote of 20 euros with a much higher level of protection. Prior to this turnover were running 5 – and 10-Euro banknotes, the first in may 2013, the second in September 2014.
In 2017 it is planned to issue a new 50-Euro bill. Old banknotes thus gradually withdrawn from circulation.