Counterfeit euro note withdrawals decrease by 15.2 per cent
In the first half of the year, 251,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation, 15.2 per cent fewer than the comparable period last year, according the European Central Bank.
At the same time, there was a decrease of 19 per cent in the quantity recovered in the first half of 2012 compared with the previous six months.
The proportion of counterfeits remains very low when compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation, which are an average 14.6 billion during the first half of 2012.
The European Central Bank and the 17 national central banks of the euro area continue to advise the public to be vigilant. In case of doubt, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine. Anyone who suspects that they may have received a counterfeit should contact either the police or the central bank.
The €20 and €50 denominations continue to be the most counterfeited. During the past six months, the share of counterfeit €20 banknotes decreased and the share of counterfeit €50 banknotes slightly increased. The two most counterfeited denominations together accounted for 77 per cent of the total during the first half of 2012. The €100 banknote is the third most counterfeited denomination, accounting for 17 per cent of the total.
The share of the other denominations (€5, €10, €200 and €500) is very low.
The majority, 97.5 per cent, of counterfeits recovered in the first half of 2012 were found in euro area countries, with only around two per cent found in EU member states outside the euro area and 0.5 per cent in other parts of the world.