top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Pressure grows for €500 note ban

UK bureaux de change ordered to stop giving out the notes - adding to French MPs' calls for it to be scrapped completely

BANKS and bureaux de change in the UK have been banned from giving out €500 notes to customers with immediate effect - putting further pressure on Europe to scrap the note entirely.

Anyone trying to buy a large number of euros in the UK will have to use a lower denomination or alternative methods such as electronic bank transfer in a bid to cut down on money-laundering.

However, the note can still be paid into British bank accounts and if you are arriving in the UK from France with a €500 note you can still get it changed for pounds.

The Financial Times says the ban will add pressure on the European Central Bank to take the note out of circulation.
According to the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency, it has become the "currency of choice" for criminals.

Last September, a cross-party group of French MPs called for the note to be scrapped to cut down on fraud.

"Laundering money often resorts to the use of cash," the group said in its report to the National Assembly.

"Since the withdrawal of the $1,000 bill, the €500 represents the next highest value piece of cash."

Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has strongly denied a Spanish newspaper report claiming that Nicolas Sarkozy had threatened to pull France out of the euro.

El Pais said Sarkozy had "banged his fist on the table and threatened to withdraw from the euro" at a recent EU leaders' summit if Germany did not back the European aid package for Greece.

Ms Lagarde said the rumours were "completely unfounded". They have also been denied by Spanish and German government spokespeople.

Related stories
€500 may go in fraud law
Helpguide: get the most from currency exchange

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now