Eesti Pank issued 319 million euros of cash in the fourth quarter of 2020
The central bank issued more than 317 million euros of banknotes into circulation in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2 million euros of coins, while 249 million euros of banknotes were returned.
Net issuance for the quarter as a whole, which is the difference between banknotes issued and returned, was around 68 million euros, or 1.8% more than in the same quarter of 2019. Demand was again largest for 50-euro banknotes, which made up around half of all the banknotes issued.
Credit institutions have 718 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Estonia, of which 209 accept cash depositing. There are 29 bank offices where over-the-counter cash services are provided. Cash was withdrawn from ATMs on 6.6 million occasions in the fourth quarter of 2020, for a total value of 905 million euros. This represents 10.8% fewer withdrawals than in the third quarter and 5% less in value. Cash worth 480 million euros was deposited in ATMs in the fourth quarter, which was 3.3% less than in the previous quarter.
Several companies, such as COOP, Olerex and Tartu Terminal, allow people to withdraw cash from their shop tills. This has improved access to cash in rural areas. Cash was withdrawn from shop tills on more than 38,000 occasions in the fourth quarter of 2020 with a total value of around 1.7 million euros.
Circulation of euro coins
Eesti Pank issues coins into circulation according to demand. In the fourth quarter of 2020, 6.1 million coins with a value of 2 million euros were issued, and 2.2 million coins with a value of 1.5 million euros were returned to the central bank. Of the coins issued in the fourth quarter, 49% were one and two-cent coins.
Exchanging Estonian kroons for cash
Eesti Pank continues to exchange Estonian kroon banknotes and coins for euros. There were 200 exchange transactions in the fourth quarter of 2020, and some 51,000 euros of kroons were exchanged. There are still 28.5 million kroon banknotes and 320 million coins that have not been returned from circulation, with a total value of 44.4 million euros. Some part of the kroons cash that was in circulation has been permanently lost over the years or has been destroyed, but the facility for exchanging kroons for euros remains available.
Expert cash analysis at Eesti Pank
Eesti Pank exchanges damaged euro banknotes and coins. Expert analysis was carried out 39 times in the fourth quarter as 210 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes. Banknotes are exchanged when more than 50% of them remains. Damaged banknotes are removed from circulation and are destroyed. The Estonian Forensic Science Institute registered 60 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in the fourth quarter of 2020, the majority of which were 20 and 50-euro notes. There were also 27 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter. The number of counterfeits discovered in Estonia is the smallest in the euro area both in absolute terms and in relation to the number of genuine notes and coins issued into circulation.
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