Eesti Pank issued 245 million euros of cash in the fourth quarter of last year

Autori Martti Näksi pilt

Martti Näksi

Head of the Cash Handling Division



In the fourth quarter of 2021 Eesti Pank issued 6.7 million banknotes into circulation with a total value of 241 million euros. The number of banknotes issued by Eesti Pank was 26% fewer than in the previous quarter, and the value was 19% less. Banknotes worth 156 million euros were returned to the central bank. The sorting process saw the destruction of 1.2 million banknotes that were unfit for circulation, which was 31% of the banknotes handled during the quarter. The rest of the banknotes were packaged and sent back into circulation.

There were 6.2 million withdrawals of cash made from ATMs in the fourth quarter of last year for a total value of more than 977 million euros. The number of transactions was 6% lower than a year earlier, but the turnover of banknotes issued by ATMs was up 8%. Cash to the value of 530 million euros was deposited in ATMs in the fourth quarter, which was 10% more than a year earlier.

Coins with a value of 3.5 million euros were issued into circulation in the fourth quarter, and coins worth 1.6 million euros were returned to Eesti Pank. Coins can be exchanged for banknotes at 16 locations across Estonia. Of the coins issued in the fourth quarter, 40% were one and two-cent coins. People receive these coins as change from shops, but rarely spend themselves. Several countries in the euro area like Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy have introduced rounding rules for purchases made in shops. Slovakia is planning to introduce such rules from July this year as well. As one and two-cent coins are rarely used for paying, such rounding rules can reduce the costs of such coins for the environment and for society. Eesti Pank is also analysing whether rounding rules can be introduced and is consulting groups of stakeholders about how such rules could work.

There are 695 ATMs in Estonia, of which 209 accept cash depositing. Cash transactions can also be made in 29 bank offices. The survey of financial behaviour last September found that 89% of people prefer to withdraw cash from ATMs, while 4% of people receive their incomes in cash, 3% withdraw it from bank offices, and 3% do so from shop tills.


Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash

Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 152 exchange transactions with kroons in the fourth quarter at a value of around 80,000 euros. There are still 28.5 million kroon banknotes, worth 37.5 million euros, and 320 million coins, worth 6.7 million euros, that have not been returned from circulation, making a total value of 44.2 million euros. A part of the cash in kroons has been permanently lost or destroyed over time.

Eesti Pank expert analysis of cash

Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis was carried out 56 times in the fourth quarter of 2021 as 565 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes. 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 45 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the fourth quarter, the majority of which were 10 and 20-euro notes. There were also 15 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter. The number of counterfeits discovered in Estonia is marginal both in absolute terms and in relation to the number of genuine notes and coins issued into circulation.

  • 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 museum shop.

Additional information:
Ingrid Schmuul
Communications Specialist
Eesti Pank
Tel: 668 0965, 5697 9146
Press enquiries: [email protected]