In 2018, a total of 833 counterfeit euro banknotes were detected among banknotes in circulation in Finland. The number of counterfeits was almost the same as in the previous year. Compared with other euro area countries, the number of counterfeit euro banknotes was modest.

“The numbers of counterfeits are very low in Finland,” says Olli Vehmas, Banknote Specialist at the Bank of Finland. “However, when handling banknotes, it is advisable to always check the security features. Checking a banknote’s authenticity is easy and does not take many seconds.”

Of the different denominations of banknotes in circulation, the EUR 50 was the most frequently discovered counterfeit banknote in Finland (445 counterfeits) in 2018, followed by the EUR 20 (227 counterfeits) and EUR 100 (58 counterfeits).

Year 2014​ ​2015 ​2016 ​2017 2018
number of counterfeits ​502 1085  2171 769 833

The new series of euro banknotes helps to curb counterfeiting. The banknote security features involve the latest technology, as a result of which banknote counterfeiting is even more difficult than before.

In the new series of euro banknotes, the EUR 5, EUR 10, EUR 20 and EUR 50 banknotes have been issued so far. The last banknotes to be issued are the EUR 100 and EUR 200 banknotes. They will be put into circulation on 28 May 2019. The new banknote series will not include the EUR 500, the issuance of which will be discontinued on 27 January 2019. The EUR 500 banknote will remain legal tender and need not be separately exchanged into smaller denominations. “No further EUR 500 banknotes will be put into circulation. However, the existing banknotes can continue to be used as before,” says Olli Vehmas.

A number of security features have been incorporated into euro banknotes for authentication purposes. Banknote authenticity can be checked by using three simple tests: feel the raised print, look at the banknote against the light and tilt it. In case of doubt, a suspect banknote should be compared directly with one that is known to be genuine. Instructions and guides for checking banknote authenticity can be found on the Bank of Finland website ( > Money and payments).

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.