Lower demand results in 12 percent fall in cash volume issued in Q3 2023

Euro coins and bills.
Euro coins and bills. Source: Anna Pavlenko/Raadio 4

The Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) issued 6.3 million banknotes in the third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2022), totaling €215 million in value.

The new issue represented a 12 percent fall in volume and a 20 percent fall in value, on the preceding quarter.

The central bank also minted 9.3 million coins totaling €3.3 million in value, in this case a rise of 13 percent in volume on Q2 2022. Over 40 percent of those coins issued were the one- and two-cent denominations.

€1.1 million in coins issued in Q3 2022

Meanwhile commercial banks returned €1.1 million of coins to the central bank, a fall of 15 percent on the second quarter.

For customers, coins can be paid into bank accounts using coin machines at 16 locations across Estonia.

€220 million-worth of banknotes were also returned to the Bank of Estonia in Q3 2022. Of these, the sorting process saw the destruction of 1.3 million banknotes that were adjudged unfit for circulation, while the rest were returned to circulation.

The lower amount of new notes issued reflected a fall in demand compared with Q1 of this year, though overall, the demand for cash remains unchanged on the previous year.

€50-bill most often used

€50 notes were the most frequently used denomination in Q3 2022, the Bank of Estonia says.

6.7 million cash withdrawals were made from ATMs nationwide in Q3 2022, to a value of over a billion euros.

The volume of cash withdrawals fell by 6 percent on year; cash deposits of €570.5 million were made in Q3 2022, 6.3 percent more than a year earlier.

ATMs in Estonia number 667, of which 250 accept cash deposits as well as withdrawals. Cash transactions can also be made in 25 bank offices, and cash can be withdrawn from over 800 other locations in Estonia.

Over 70 counterfeit bills found

Meanwhile the Estonian Forensic Science Institute says it registered 73 counterfeit euro banknotes in Estonia in Q3 2022, the majority of which were €20- and €50-notes. There were also 35 counterfeit coins discovered in the quarter.

While the euro has been in use in Estonia for nearly 12 years, the central bank still accepts the previous currency, the Kroon, in exchange for euros.

There were 214 exchange transactions with kroons in Q3 2022 worth €73,719.

There are still an estimated 28.4 million kroon banknotes, worth €37.2 million, potentially at large (though some of this would have been destroyed or lost), the central bank estimates, plus 319.7 million coins, totaling €6.7 million in value, which have not been returned from circulation, making a total value of €43.9 million.

Estonian Kroons can still be switched for euros

The Kroon to Euro exchange rate was pegged at 15.64 (so, for instance, a 100 Kroon bill is worth €6.39).

Estonian kroon banknotes and coins can be exchanged for euros at the Eesti Pank Museum on Estonia pst. in Tallinn during its opening hours from Tuesdays to Fridays 12.00-17.00 and Saturdays 11.00-16.00, tel 668 0650.

In addition, 1,563 banknotes were examined for authenticity and were classed as damaged notes – which can be exchanged if more than half of a note is intact.

Damaged banknotes can be submitted for expert analysis ahead of potential reimbursement by contacting the Eesti Pank museum shop also.

The bank says its survey on access to cash shows that the availability of cash has remained the same in Estonia in recent years.

Around 99 percent of people in Estonia live within a 10 km radius of a point at which cash can be withdrawn.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Bank of Estonia

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