In the first half of 2019, a total of 426 counterfeit euro banknotes were detected among banknotes in circulation in Finland. The number of counterfeits has been fairly stable in recent years. Compared with other euro area countries, the number of counterfeit euro banknotes is modest.

“There are very few counterfeit banknotes in circulation in Finland and they generally emanate from other countries, after which they are rapidly recovered,” says Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist at the Bank of Finland.

Of the different denominations of banknotes in circulation, the EUR 50 was the most frequently discovered counterfeit banknote in Finland (266 counterfeits) in the first half of 2019, followed by the EUR 20 (92 counterfeits) and EUR 100 (26 counterfeits).

“It's always good to check banknotes when accepting them. Imitation banknotes that resemble euro banknotes, such as so-called souvenir banknotes and movie money, might be illegal. Occasionally, this type of counterfeit money is successfully used as a means of payment,” says Vehmas.

Period (the first or second half of the year)






Number of counterfeits






The new series of euro banknotes, of which the last denominations, the EUR 100 and EUR 200 banknotes, were issued on 28 May, will help prevent counterfeiting. The other denominations were issued earlier. The banknote security features involve the latest technology, as a result of which banknote counterfeiting is even more difficult than before.

A number of security features have been incorporated into euro banknotes for authentication purposes. Banknote authenticity can be checked by using simple tests, i.e. by feeling the raised print, looking at the banknote and tilting it. When in doubt, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine. Instructions and guidelines for checking banknote authenticity can be found on the Bank of Finland website.

In a press release issued today, the European Central Bank provides an overview of the situation regarding counterfeit euro banknotes.

For further information on the situation in Finland, please contact

Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist, Bank of Finland, Tel.  +358 9 183 3410