Eesti Pank issued 255 million euros of cash in the second quarter
The total issuance of banknotes from Eesti Pank in the second quarter of 2021 was 20.5% less that in the same quarter of last year. Eesti Pank issues banknotes and coins into circulation in response to demand. The central bank issued 255 million euros of cash into circulation in the second quarter of the year, as more than 251 million euros of banknotes and 4.2 million euros of coins were issued. Banknotes worth 144.5 million euros were returned to the central bank with 1.4 million euros of coins. Research recently published by analysts at the European Central Bank* confirms that there is no danger from using cash and the spread of the virus through banknotes and coins is marginal.
Demand was again largest for 50-euro banknotes, which made up around 77% of all the banknotes issued by Eesti Pank. Demand for coins increased in the second quarter, as is normal in the summer months when there are a lot of outdoor events. The largest share of the coins issued were again one and two-cent coins.
There are 700 ATMs in Estonia, of which 207 accept cash depositing. There are also 29 bank offices where cash transactions can be made. Cash can be withdrawn from shop tills at 660 locations across Estonia, and 98.4% of the Estonian population lives within a ten-kilometre radius of a point where cash can be withdrawn (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Regional distribution of cash withdrawal points
Cash was withdrawn from ATMs on 6.6 million occasions in the second quarter of 2021, for a total value of more than 925 million euros, which is 7.5% more withdrawals and 11.2% more value than in the same quarter of last year (see Figure 2). Cash deposits of 488 million euros were made in the second quarter, which is 24.2% more than a year previously.
Figure 2. The number and turnover of withdrawals of cash from ATMs in Estonia
Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash
Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroons in notes and coins for euros. There were 136 exchange transactions with kroons in the second quarter at a value of around 36,000 euros. There are still 28.5 million banknotes and 320 million coins that have not been returned from circulation, with a total value of 44.3 million euros, a part of which has been permanently lost or destroyed.
Expert cash analysis at Eesti Pank
Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis was carried out 29 times in the second quarter of 2021 as 328 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 79 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the second quarter, the majority of which were 20 and 50-euro notes. There were also 12 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.
- *The research Catch me (if you can): assessing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission via euro cash by analysts from the European Central Bank can be found on the website of the ECB.
- 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.
- Damaged banknotes can be submitted for expert analysis by contacting the museum shop.
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