Number of fake euro notes on the up

Demand for fake euro notes rose in the second half of 2013. The number if counterfeits taken out of circulation went up 11.4 per cent from the first half of the year.

The European Central Bank (ECB) said that it withdrew 353,000 notes in the period - although it stresses that this is a very small number, given that there are 15bn in circulation at any one time.

€20 and €50 notes continue the be the favourites with fraudsters, accounting for over three-quarters of fakes.

The number of fake €10 rose, but only made up 6.3 per cent of the total.

Today the ECB unveiled a new and improved €10 note which, it said, will help the Eurosystem "stay ahead of counterfeiters". It follows the new €5 note, released last May.