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The beginning of the end of 500 euro banknotes

On Sunday 27 January 17 central banks - out of 19 of the countries that are part of the eurozone - have stopped issuing 500 euro banknotes. Only the central banks of Germany and Austria obtained a three-month extension to these rules (which they will have to apply from April 26th) to "ensure a smooth transition", said the European Central Bank (ECB) in a Note.

Tickets of 500 euros will continue to have legal value and can therefore be changed at a bank with smaller denominations for an unlimited time. Progressively, however, they will disappear: in 2008 500 banknotes constituted 35 percent of the total value of banknotes in circulation, according to the ECB; in 2017 they constituted 22 percent, against 42 percent of the cuts from 50 euros.

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