News - News Releases 2017


Bi-annual information on euro banknote counterfeiting in Malta

There was a notable decrease in the number of counterfeit euro banknotes reported to the Central Bank of Malta in the first half of 2017. At 422 pieces, the overall quantity of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation was 34% lower than the aggregate figure withdrawn in the previous six months (July to December 2016) and also lower than that reported in the same period of 2016 (January to June 2016).

When compared with the number of genuine euro banknotes in circulation in Malta (slightly above 10.39 million on average for the first half of 2017), the proportion of euro counterfeits remains insignificant. It is also low (0.13%) as a proportion of the total number of counterfeits seized in the euro area as a whole over the same period, amounting to 331,000 pieces.

Of all the counterfeit euro banknotes seized in Malta over the first half of the year, the largest number continued to be those of the middle denominations, the €20 and €50 amounting to 73.5% of all counterfeits. During this period, the share of the €20 and €50 denominations increased, whilst that of the €10 denomination decreased from 36.9% in the previous half year to 17.3% during this period.

The Table below provides a percentage breakdown by denomination, of the total number of counterfeits withdrawn from circulation in the first half of 2017 compared to those withdrawn in the euro area as a whole.










Percentage Breakdown

Euro area
















The Bank would like to remind the public that the new €50 banknote, with its innovative security features, was issued on 4 April 2017. Banknote equipment manufacturers will continue to receive support from the Eurosystem in adapting their machines and authentication devices to the new banknote. If their equipment is still unable to accept this banknote, operators/owners should contact their suppliers or manufacturers without delay.

Notwithstanding the low figures of counterfeits reported locally, the Central Bank of Malta continues to advise the public to remain alert with regard to the banknotes received in cash transactions. Genuine banknotes can be easily recognised using the simple "FEEL-LOOK-TILT" test, which is described on the Bank's website. The Bank is available to provide any support, including training to any local entities which may require such assistance.

Anyone who receives a suspect note should contact either the Police by calling on 2294 2120 or the Central Bank of Malta on 2550 6012/13 or by sending an email on the Bank's e-mail address.

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