Eesti Pank issued 229 million euros of cash in the first quarter of the year

Autori Kristjan Lember pilt

Kristjan Lember

cash analyst



In the first quarter of 2023 Eesti Pank issued 6.4 million banknotes into circulation with a total value of 227 million euros. Over half of those banknotes, specifically 55%, were 50-euro notes. The amount of cash issued by Eesti Pank was 11% larger than that issued in the last quarter of 2022.

There were 6.1 million banknotes with a total value of 214 million euros returned to Eesti Pank in the first quarter. The banknote returned most commonly was the 50-euro note, which accounted for 37% of all the banknotes returned. The sorting process saw the destruction of 1.2 million banknotes that were unfit for circulation, and the rest were returned to circulation.

Eesti Pank issued 4.7 million coins with a total value of 1.9 million euros into circulation in the first quarter. The coins issued most were one and two-cent coins, which made up 45% of all the coins issued. People receive these coins as change from shops, but rarely spend them themselves, and the coins generally do not return to circulation. There is consequently a constant demand to mint one and two-cent coins, but the large environmental impact of producing essentially single-use coins first led Eesti Pank to propose the introduction of rounding rules back in 2018.

The commercial banks returned 2.6 million circulation coins with a total value of 1.7 million euros to Eesti Pank in the first quarter.
The numbers of coins issued and returned were lower than in the fourth quarter of last year. This reflects a seasonal trend as the peak for coins in circulation usually comes in the second and third quarters.

Cash was withdrawn from ATMs on 5.5 million occasions in the first quarter, for a total value of more than 883.8 million euros. The number of withdrawals from ATMs was the same as a year earlier. Cash deposits of 486 million euros were made in the fourth quarter, which was 12% more than a year earlier.

There are currently 664 ATMs in Estonia, of which 248 accept cash depositing. Alongside the ATMs, cash transactions can also be made in 20 bank offices.
There are some 700 shop tills across Estonia from which cooperation between the banks and points of sale allows cash to be withdrawn. See also Where else can I withdraw cash?


Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash

Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 216 exchange transactions with kroons in the first quarter of the year at a value of 37,191 euros. There are still an estimated 28.4 million kroon banknotes, worth 37 million euros, and 319.7 million coins, worth 6.7 million euros, that have not been returned from circulation, making a total value of 43.7 million euros. Interest in exchanging kroons has been very low in recent years. A part of the cash in kroons has been permanently lost or destroyed over time.

Exchanging Croatian kunas

As Croatia adopted the euro, Eesti Pank exchanged Croatian kuna banknotes for two months from the start of January to the end of February. There were 24 exchange transactions made, in which 36,155 Croatian kunas were exchanged for 4798 euros. The kunas were sent to the Croatian central bank.

Eesti Pank expert analysis of cash

Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis of cash was carried out 43 times in the first quarter as 12,021 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes where appropriate. Banknotes are exchanged when more than half of them remains. Damaged banknotes are removed from circulation and are destroyed.

The Estonian Forensic Science Institute registered 44 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the first quarter of 2023, the majority of which were 10 and 50-euro notes. There were also 31 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter.

  • Estonian kroon banknotes and coins can be exchanged for euros at the shop of the Eesti Pank Museum during its opening hours from Tuesdays to Fridays 12.00-17.00 and Saturdays 11.00-16.00, tel 668 0650.
  • Damaged banknotes can be submitted for expert analysis by contacting the Eesti Pank museum shop.

For further information:
Viljar Rääsk

Head of Communications
Eesti Pank
5275 055
Press enquiries: [email protected]