ECB Says Euro Banknote Counterfeits Dropped in 2012

The European Central Bank said it removed 12.4 percent fewer counterfeit euro banknotes from circulation in 2012 than in the previous year.

The bank withdrew about 531,000 forged notes compared with 606,000 in 2011, the Frankfurt-based ECB said in an e-mailed statement today. The number was 11.6 percent higher in the second half of the year than in the first.

The 20-euro and 50-euro notes continue to be the most forged, accounting for a combined 82.5 percent of discovered fakes. The 100-euro banknote was the third-most counterfeited denomination, accounting for 13 percent. The proportion of counterfeit notes compared with the total in circulation remains “very low”, the bank said.

ECB President Mario Draghi today unveiled a new 5-euro banknote to be introduced on May 2 as the first of the new “Europa series” with new security features. The other denominations will be “introduced gradually over the coming years,” the ECB said.

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