Contrary to expectations, amount of cash in circulation increases in Finland
Number of banknotes doubles in Finland during euro period
The amount of cash in circulation in Finland has doubled during the nearly four years that the common European currency, the euro, has been in use in this country.
The use of cash has increased in spite of the increasing use of credit and debit cards in paying for purchases. This year the number of banknotes is expected to increase in Finland by about 20 percent.
The phenomenon has been noticed in the Bank of Finland, which has not been able to offer a single explanation. Similar trends have been noticed in other countries in the euro zone.
Finns who travel to Germany to buy a car often pay for their purchases with EUR 500 banknotes.
Ordinary tourists also tend to bring cash with them when they travel abroad.
Another factor increasing the amount of cash in circulation is that people withdrawing money from automatic teller machines are taking out larger sums at a time. The withdrawals have grown as the number of cash machines has declined.
Cash is also used in much of Finland’s trade with Russia.
It is also possible that the growth in the use of cash might be partly linked with an increase in money laundering and other illegal transactions.