Central Banking

Number of counterfeit euro notes surges

The number of counterfeit banknotes recovered in the eurozone soared by 5.4% in the first half of 2008, the European Central Bank (ECB) said on Thursday.

The notes had a face value of €19.3m ($30.4m).

In the six months to June 312,000 notes were withdrawn from circulation, up from 296,000 in the second half of 2007. The figure represents the biggest haul since the second half of 2003.

The €50 note was the most counterfeited note, accounting for 36% of notes seized, followed by the €20 denomina