The "Bin Laden" are on the run


The 500-euro banknotes total just 22 million, the lowest circulation figure since 2002. The 200-euro banknotes are at record lows

The number of bills of 500 euros in circulation reached 22 million in October, the lowest figure since August 2002, while the number of 200 euro notes marked its lowest historical level, according to the latest data published by the Bank of Spain, which stopped issuing 500 euro notes in January 2019. The amount of all 500 euro bills stood at 11,203 million euros in October, compared to more than 11,450 million euros in the previous month. The governing board of the European Central Bank (ECB) agreed in early May 2016 to stop producing 500 euro bills. In application of this decision, the Bank of Spain ceased on January 27 the issuance of 500-euro bills, although these bills will continue to be legal tender, so they can continue to circulate and be used as a means of payment and as a deposit of value, that is to buy and save. Likewise, the professional sectors, such as banks, fund transport companies or offices and currency exchange, among other establishments, may recirculate 500-euro bills. These notes will maintain their value indefinitely and may be exchanged at the national central banks of the euro area at any time. For its part, The number of 50-euro banknotes in circulation rose to 1,063 million units in November, amounting to 53,150 million euros. In addition, the amount of the 200-euro banknotes stood at 904 million euros in the eleventh month of last year, with 4.52 million units, its historical minimum. In the case of the 100 euro banknotes widened the gap between distributed banknotes and banknotes withdrawn in November, after the entities that operate in Spain handed over to the Bank of Spain more tickets than they were put into circulation. Specifically, the difference between distributed and withdrawn tickets in November was 95 million units, two million more than the October gap. This situation may be due to the fact that the country is a tourism recipient and the possibility that tourists have brought many tickets of this type to Spain in the last year, according to the Bank of Spain said when the first decline in February of the year 2015.

Tourists' money ends at the Bank of Spain

Much of the money from tourists ends up in credit institutions, which return part of these tickets to the Bank of Spain because they do not need so many to meet the liquidity needs of their customers. As for the 10 and 20 euros bills, the net balance between the distributions and the returns was also negative. The gap was 1,495 million banknotes in the first case and 2,058 million banknotes in the case of 20 euro banknotes, which means one million less and six million more in each case.

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