Securing cash circulation

Although citizens are increasingly choosing to use non-cash payments (according to the population survey data, in August 2022, one person made an average of 3.7 cash payments and 8.9 non-cash payments during the week), one of the important tasks of Latvijas Banka is ensuring cash circulation.

In 2022, net issuance of euro banknotes by Latvijas Banka followed an upward path, but it still remains negative (Chart 19). Meanwhile, issuance of euro coins by Latvijas Banka has also increased significantly. Thus, at the end of 2022, the total net issuance of euro banknotes and coins of Latvijas Banka was 75.7 million euro.

Chart 1. Net issuance of euro banknotes and coins by Latvijas Banka
(millions of euro)



The net issuance of euro banknotes by Latvijas Banka in terms of number increased by 12.8% during 2022 (up to 69.8 million banknotes). Of the euro banknotes issued by Latvijas Banka by the end of 2022, 50 euro and 20 euro banknotes predominated.

In 2022, the net issuance of euro coins of Latvijas Banka increased by 6.3%, reaching 454.5 million coins at the end of December. As to the coins issued by Latvijas Banka, 1 cent and 2 cent coins were the most popular coins in circulation at the end of 2022.

Chart 2. Net issuance of euro banknotes by Latvijas Banka
(by denomination; 2014–2022; number in millions)



Chart 3. Net issuance of euro coins by Latvijas Banka
(by denomination; 2014–2022; number in millions)



The cash received from credit institutions was checked for fitness and authenticity by automated cash processing systems of Latvijas Banka. They processed 126.3 million banknotes in 2022 (3.3% more than in 2021). 8.6% (10.9 million) of the processed banknotes were identified as unfit for circulation and destroyed.

In 2022, Latvijas Banka continued to register cash processing institutions, i.e. the merchants engaged in handling and recirculating of euro banknotes and coins, and to monitor their operation. At the end of 2022, 35 cash processing institutions were registered in Latvia. Latvijas Banka conducted inspections of them by assessing the compliance of their operation with the requirements of laws and regulations governing cash handling. In 2022, six such inspections were carried out.

In 2022, the withdrawal of lats banknotes and coins from circulation continued. During the year, the lats banknotes and coins received from circulation by Latvijas Banka totalled 0.8 million lats (0.7 million lats in banknotes and 0.1 million lats in coins). Lats banknotes and coins worth 39.7 million lats and 43.8 million lats respectively were in circulation at the end of 2022. At the end of December 2022, the 5 lats and 20 lats banknotes (1.7 million and 0.7 million respectively) and the 1 santim and 2 santim coins (149.4 million and 89.5 million respectively) accounted for the majority of banknotes and coins in circulation in terms of number.

At the end of 2022, Latvijas Banka, the Finance Latvia Association, AS Citadele banka, AS SEB banka, Swedbank AS, and Luminor Bank AS Latvian branch agreed to continue the operation of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Ensuring Access to Cash for Residents of Latvia. The Memorandum mainly aims at ensuring access to cash for residents across the entire territory of Latvia and it provides for the following:

  • until 1 January 2024, maintaining the existing network of ATMs without reducing the number of ATMs by more than 5%;
  • when creating the network of ATMs, the straight-line distance from any location in Latvia to the closest ATM should not exceed 20 kilometres overall for 99% of Latvia’s population;
  • ensuring adequate hours of actual accessibility of ATMs to consumers (at least 12 hours a day).

In cooperation with the Central Bank of Ukraine and two Latvian credit institutions, in 2022, the exchange of Ukrainian hryvnia banknotes for euros was organised and carried out for refugees from Ukraine registered in Latvia.

At the end of 2022, the Cashier’s Offices of Latvijas Banka were moved to the building of the Riga branch. The coin deposit machines installed on the premises of the new Cashier’s Offices make the exchange of small denomination coins more convenient and faster for the population.

Execution of functions of the National Analysis Centre and the Coin National Analysis Centre

Number and types of counterfeits

The main task of a National Analysis Centre is to identify, analyse and record counterfeit banknotes submitted to Latvijas Banka, thus ensuring and reinforcing the necessary measures that are required for coordinated anti-counterfeiting efforts in the European Union.

In 2022, the National Analysis Centre of Latvijas Banka received 1510 requests to identify banknotes (in 847 cases counterfeit banknotes were detected), in 33 cases the competent authority provided an opinion on the identification of banknotes at the request of the State Police.

In 2022, 984 counterfeit banknotes and coins were received from circulation and identified (494 counterfeit banknotes and 490 counterfeit coins). The number of detected counterfeits in circulation was more than 28% compared to 2021 (the number of counterfeit euro banknotes decreased by 9%, but the number of counterfeit euro coins increased by 118%). The proportion of counterfeit euro banknotes and coins was 90% of all counterfeit currencies found in circulation.

On average, the time for submitting counterfeit euro banknotes and coins to Latvijas Banka for identification after detecting such banknotes and coins was 22 days. It took less than two days to identify and register counterfeit euro banknotes and coins. The reduction in the number of days required for the submission of counterfeit banknotes and coins has a positive impact on the ability of law enforcement bodies to successfully investigate criminal offences.

Chart 4. Time until the submission of counterfeit banknotes and coins and time for their identification



In 2022, the increase in the number of euro counterfeits detected in circulation was determined by a larger amount of counterfeit coins; however, in general, the situation in the area of the spread of counterfeits is consistently low, i.e. less than five counterfeits per 10 000 population.

Chart 5. Number of counterfeit banknotes and coins



The 20 and 50 euro banknotes were the most counterfeited denominations detected in circulation. Their share in the total number of counterfeit euro banknotes was almost 80% of the total number of detected counterfeit euro banknotes.

Chart 6. Counterfeit euro banknotes by denomination



As to counterfeit euro coins, 2 euro counterfeit coins were mostly identified in circulation. In 2022, their share reached 90% of detected counterfeit coins. The share of counterfeits of 1 euro and 50 cent coins did not exceed 5%.

Quality of counterfeit banknotes

Most counterfeit banknotes are of bad quality: in their production, an attempt is made to achieve a relatively simple resemblance to genuine banknotes, without trying to imitate their security features. Quite often, they even feature an altered design: movie money banknotes with inscriptions not legal tender, copy, prop copy, be used only for movies or props. The spread of such banknotes is due to people’s inattention and oversight when checking the security features of banknotes.

High-quality counterfeits are mainly detected among counterfeits of high denomination banknotes, i.e. 200 and 500 euro banknotes. However, their number has not significantly changed in the course of time.

In 2022, there were cases of distribution of genuine banknotes with affixed fake holograms and printed images, i.e. modified genuine banknotes (Chart 25). The origin of such banknotes is probably attributed to cases of robbery, during which the banknotes were ink-stained.

The availability of illegal products of high-quality printers/copiers and imitated security elements on internet trading platforms increasingly enable counterfeiters to opt for technologies that do not require expertise and skills.

Chart 7. Quality of counterfeit banknotes


Euro commemorative and collector coins issued by Latvijas Banka in 2022

In 2022, Latvijas Banka released into circulation four silver collector coins: “Satversme 100” (issued on 16 February 2022), “Vilhelms Purvītis” (issued on 25 May 2022), “Upward” (issued on 1 November 2022) and “For the Freedom of Ukraine” (issued on 15 December 2022), as well as a 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to financial literacy (in circulation since 12 April 2022) and a set of circulation coins (in circulation since 25 May 2022), and a 2 euro commemorative coin dedicated to the 35th anniversary since the establishment of the EC Erasmus programme (in circulation since 1 July 2022).



Latvijas Banka invites various Latvian artists to participate in coin design competitions therefore every coin is a unique work of art. The themes of the coins are chosen according to their topicality, in order to promote Latvian cultural values, as well as to highlight current topics in society.

The Coin of Luck was announced Latvia’s Coin of the Year 2021 in the annual public survey. About 45 thousand votes were received in the public survey organised by Latvijas Banka and the news portal

Operational areas