CBK’s measures and activities in the fight against counterfeit money and the effects of the implementation of the Regulation on Cash Operations and the Plan for its Facilitated Implementation

13/05/2024

At the end of 2023 and during the first part of 2024, the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo (CBK) has continued to successfully coordinate inter-institutional meetings to combat counterfeit coins, especially 2 Euro coins.

Also, activities have been carried out according to the Plan for Facilitated Implementation of the Regulation on Cash Operations, which have contributed to financial education and consumer protection, increasing access to finance, strengthening the integrity of the country's financial system and monetary control, also in view of achieving the criteria for the ongoing integration processes of the financial system.

I. Results related to the fight against counterfeit money and the implementation of the measures of the Regulation on Cash Operations, as of April 2024:

  •   About 2.5 million pieces of coins with denominations of 2 euros have been withdrawn from circulation and deposited in the CBK;
  •   About 54,000 coins with denominations of 2 euros have been detected and prevented from entering the financial system, withdrawing them from circulation as suspected counterfeits;
  •   The economy has been supplied with nearly 7.4 million pieces of completely new euro coins of all denominations without any applied fees;
  •   The economy was supplied with close to 5.82 million pieces of completely new euro banknotes suitable for re-circulation in the amount of 261.6 million euros;
  •   5 million pieces of completely new coins, or 8 million euros, were imported;
  •   2.4 million pieces (2.8 million euros) of the 2 euro coin (withdrawn from circulation) were exported;
  •  The number of 500 (five hundred) euro banknotes withdrawn from circulation and deposited at CBK has exceeded 266,000 (two hundred and sixty-six thousand) pieces/units worth over 133 (one hundred and thirty-three) million euros;
  •   Four (4) banks are licensed for import/export of cash; AND
  •   57 authorizations (mainly of non-euro currencies) for the transport of cash with a total counter value of 177.4 million euros.

II. Effects of the Plan for Facilitated Implementation of the Regulation on Cash Operations

From the 10 points list of the Plan, the CBK has carried out activities under each of them, starting with the operationalization of the free telephone line (0800 222 55), easing the conditions for opening bank accounts, the temporary suspension of the CBK fee and the intensified promotional activity, up to other points that required the commitment and contribution of financial institutions, for which we express our thanks.

Some of the effects of the Facilitated Implementation Plan implemented during the three (3) month period, which contributed to increasing access to safe finance through banks and non-bank financial institutions, financial inclusion and their protection from unsound financial activities, are presented below:

  •  Eight (8) branches/offices of financial institutions have been licensed;

- One (1) bank office/branch in Leposavic

- One (1) office of the insurance company (non-life) in Leposavic

- Six (6) offices of non-banking and micro-financial financial institutions:

  • One (1) in Leposavic
    •  One (1) in Zveçan
    •  Two (2) in Graçanica
    •  One (1) in Shtrpce
    •  One (1) in Shillova, Gjilan
  •  38 ATMs/financial self-service machines have been installed;
  •  Over 350 visits and promotional activities were carried out (including Remote Banking);
  •  Nearly 11 million euros of loans were granted.

During this transitory period that has now ended, the CBK, within the framework of financial education, has organized information campaigns, such as the Manual for Frequently Asked Questions on the Regulation, sending informative SMSs, publishing clarifications and announcements on the web and in all CBK social networks, in the official languages of the Republic of Kosovo.

Expanding access to finance, financial inclusion, financial education and consumer protection will be ongoing activities and commitments of the CBK on the basis of European best practices, as objectives of the CBK Strategic Plan, with a focus on areas that are part of the Plan for Facilitated Implementation of the Regulation. These actions are taken in addition to the constructive engagement in facilitating the mechanism of transferring funds in the most efficient way to the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, through bank accounts based on the regulation in force.

Regarding the fight against counterfeit money and due diligence, CBK continues to encourage citizens and businesses to deposit their coins in commercial banks and to use cards and other electronic payments as much as possible, as well as to report to the responsible authorities any suspicion of attempts to introduce counterfeit money into circulation by counterfeiters. Also, businesses are instructed to supply coins only through commercial banks and avoid unofficial channels, as well as offer as many opportunities as possible for accepting electronic payments.