FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will stop issuing 500 euro (396.85 pound) banknotes towards the end of 2018 on concerns it could facilitate illicit activities but outstanding bills will remain in use indefinitely, the ECB said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The 500 euro note will remain legal tender and can therefore continue to be used as a means of payment and store of value,” the bank said.
“The 500 euro banknote, like the other denominations of euro banknotes, will always retain its value and can be exchanged at the national central banks of the Eurosystem for an unlimited period of time.”
The ECB has been looking to get rid of the 500 euro note, despite the objections of Germany’s central bank, due to concerns that it is also used by criminals and militants to finance their activities.
Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Janet Lawrence