Bundesbank considers phasing out €500 banknote

The Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, may be considering a gradual phasing out of its €500 banknote.

An unnamed source told The Wall Street Journal the European bank could stop printing new versions of the €500 bill, a move that “could be seen as reasonable by everybody on the governing council,” including Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who also sits on the policy setting body. If it’s true, the move could signal the bank’s changing attitude towards an idea that has sparked widespread debate in Germany.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES

Similar to Canada’s $1000 bill, which was withdrawn in May 2000 to fight against counterfeiting, money laundering and organized crime, the Bundesbank’s €500 banknote is increasingly used an instrument for illegal activities.

The move is controversial in Germany, where cash payments are commonplace.

The move is controversial in Germany, where cash payments are commonplace.

Mario Draghi, president of the Central European Bank (ECB), said “it’s in this context that we are considering action on that front.”

Despite concerns, the move to eliminate the largest denomination of all ECB banknotes has been met with controversy in Germany, where paying with cash remains commonplace.

“The elimination of the 500-euro note is becoming ever more likely and constitutes the start of the elimination of cash,” said Max Otte in February, after Weidmann commented the debate “must be kept clearly separate from this monetary policy-motivated discussion on the abolition of cash.”

In February, Weidmann added: “It is in my view doubtful whether terrorists or criminals can really be stopped because large notes are eliminated.”

A decision from the governing council is expected at its meeting this May 4.

 

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with the numismatic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Coin News

Canada

Canadian Coin News is Canada's premier source of information about coins, notes and medals.

Although we cover the entire world of numismatics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Coin News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $47.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier coin publication. Canadian Coin News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.