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E500 note withdrawn from UK

Started by Leviathan, May 13, 2010, 12:06:11 PM

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Leviathan

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8678886.stm

QuoteExchange offices in the UK have stopped selling 500 euro banknotes because of their use by money launderers.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency says 90% of the notes sold in the UK are in the hands of organised crime.
Soca deputy director Ian Cruxton said 500 euros had become the currency of choice for gangs hiding their profits.
The move means nobody will be able to buy the note in the UK - but travellers will be able to sell them if they enter the UK carrying them from abroad.
There has been mounting international concern over the note, which is worth more than £400, and its use by criminals or tax evaders.
Massive sums
Soca says that an eight-month analysis of movements of the note in the UK revealed that it was almost exclusively used by money launderers shifting cash for major crime gangs.
   
Spoils of crime become easier to smuggle
The British trade in the notes is thought to be worth some 500 million euros - but less than 10% of them are bought by legitimate tourists and business travellers. Financial crime investigators concluded that there was no credible or legitimate use for the note in the UK.
Instead, gangs are reportedly shifting massive sums of sterling, typically from drug dealing, through "front" exchange businesses.
Ian Cruxton, deputy director of Soca, told the BBC that the banknote had been secretly withdrawn from sale on 20 April.
"When criminals want to move a bulk of cash inside the UK and, more importantly, out of the UK, one of the best ways to do that is to reduce the bulk massively both physically and in terms of the risks they pose of discovery," said Mr Cruxton.
"The 500 euro note is really the note of choice among criminals.
"It should now be impossible now to buy a 500 note over the counter from one of the suppliers. And that's going to have an effect on the criminals - it means they are going to have to find other means of trying to move their money."
There have been widespread concerns among law enforcement agencies over the role of the 500 euro in money laundering, concerns that are identical to those raised about other similar high-value notes around the world.
The European Central Bank created the note at the time of monetary union to replace high value notes which were popular in some of the Eurozone countries.

Figleaf

Good move. It's a pretty useless banknote. I hear there are two left in Greece, none in the other euro countries :)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

asm

Did anyone think what will happen to the money launderers outside the UK who would fly in and out of the UK with a bundle of the high denomination notes stuffed in his wallet? With !00 & 200 Euro notes the size will be atleast 3 times or more..........quite troublesome.......

Amit
"It Is Better To Light A Candle Than To Curse The Darkness"

chrisild

Don't really care whether these exist or not. In everyday life I hardly ever use a €100 note, much less €200 and €500. :)

Who needs them? About 100 million of those €500 notes "circulate" in Spain, according to Banco de España. And over there they account for two thirds of the total cash volume. But of course you don't see them in everyday life there either ...

Just out of curiosity, has the UK also "withdrawn" the Swiss 1000 CHF note? That has a value of about £600.

Christian

UK Decimal +

In England, it is unusual for the 'everyday person' to see even a British £50 note.   We usually see £20, £10 and £5 notes although there is often a shortage of £5.

Any Post Office will change €uros to or from British money without charge, but at their own exchange rate.

It is rare to see €uros in use here, but I have taken U$ dollar$ at the booking office of a preserved railway in Wales and given the change in nickels, dimes, whatever.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

gxseries

Wait till you see the Singapore 10,000 dollar note, which is about 4,600 British pounds. I've handled a few thousand dollar notes before, which is easily 460 pounds each.

Ukrainii Pyat

The larger denomination notes are still fairly popular in countries where the Euro is not an official currency - Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus.  Of course syndicates hold a lot of the notes, but some regular people keep their "wealth" in them as a store of value.  These days though it is possible with the exception of Belarus to go in and buy gold if you want a long term store of value.

In Ukraine for instance most larger sized purchases, homes, cars, appliances are priced in euros or dollars and not the local currency which fluctuates too much in value.  People are still fairly and duly mistrustful of commercial banks so quite a bit of the economy is still cash driven.

That said, I have never used anything more than a 50 euro note. 
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine

thelawnet

I bought my house in Indonesia in 100,000 rupiah ($10) notes. It's not that inconvenient really.

Ukrainii Pyat

Quote from: thelawnet on August 10, 2010, 10:30:59 PM
I bought my house in Indonesia in 100,000 rupiah ($10) notes. It's not that inconvenient really.

Several years ago I purchased an item on fleaBay from a seller in Indonesia and paid via credit card - imagine the initial shock I felt when I saw the charge on my statement for 10.000.000 rupiah!  But when you converted it to my currency it was right on the mark of the purchase.
Донецк Украина Donets'k Ukraine