Issuance of banknotes and coins is one of the core tasks legally imposed on the Bank of Finland. The Bank of Finland is authorised by the European Central Bank (ECB) to put the requisite banknotes and coins into circulation in Finland. By virtue of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the ECB was granted the exclusive right to authorise the central banks to issue banknotes and the right to approve the amount of coins put into circulation in euro area member states.
In accordance with the Act on the Bank of Finland (214/1998, Section 5), the Bank of Finland may issue rules and instructions concerning the handling of notes and coins to banks and other monetary institutions and to other similar entities.
The amount of euro banknotes and coins issued in Finland since the introduction of the euro has increased manyfold, compared with the national currency period. This, however, is not due to an increase in cash payments in Finland, instead it reflects the growing use of euro cash as a payment and savings instrument both within and outside the euro area. According to financial accounts prepared by Statistics Finland, approximately half of the cash issued by the Bank of Finland has ended up abroad. The use of cash as a payment instrument has, in contrast, decreased, based on, for example, the distribution of cash via ATMs and bank offices and cash withdrawals in grocery stores.
Parties responsible for the currency supply in Finland are:
- The Bank of Finland
- Monetary financial institutions
- Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Oy (ATM network)
- Reila Palvelut Oy
- The cash distribution centres Loomis Suomi Oy, Nokas Finland Oy, and Reila Palvelut Oy
- The security transport specialists Loomis Suomi Oy and Nokas Finland Oy.
The Bank of Finland supplies banknotes and coins to the private cash distribution centres according to their orders and accepts returned banknotes and coins from the centres. The private cash distribution centres, in turn, serve the needs of monetary financial institutions and Automatia Pankkiautomaatit Ltd as well as the banks' customers. Sorting, quality control and checking for authenticity are undertaken by the Bank of Finland and by distribution centres around Finland.
In the single euro cash environment, it is natural for euro area countries to seek to harmonise their currency supply systems, where applicable. Coordination and cooperation take place in the area of banknote development, banknote procurement and management of strategic stocks of euro banknotes.