Friday 24 November 2017

Black market boom as circulation of €50 notes increases

The Central Bank has said the issuance of €50 notes has increased steadily.
The Central Bank has said the issuance of €50 notes has increased steadily.
Joanna Kiernan

Joanna Kiernan

A HEFTY increase in the amount of larger bank notes in circulation over recent years appears to back up the suspicions of retailers in Ireland, who say the black market economy is booming.

The issuance of €50 notes has increased steadily each year for the last four years, according to the Central Bank, from €26.425bn of €50 notes issued in 2011 to €29.407bn of the same denominations issued in 2014.

A similar phenomenon has been observed in the UK where the Bank of England has found there are 90 million more £50 notes changing hands now than there were before the financial crisis, which began in 2007.

This has led to an additional £4.5bn being circulated in the UK cash economy, an increase of more than two-thirds in a period of just six years.

"Retail Ireland members are only too aware of the problem of the black economy and this increase in large notes in circulation might point to further growth in illegal activity," Retail Ireland director Stephen Lynam said.

"It is estimated that the loss to the Exchequer from illegal sales of tobacco, fuel and counterfeit goods alone is about €500m."

Sunday Indo Business

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