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Euro Banknotes in Circulation and the Allocation of Monetary Income within the Eurosystem

Martin Handig () and Robert Holzfeind ()
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Martin Handig: Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Financial Statements and Treasury Risk Monitoring Division
Robert Holzfeind: Oesterreichische Nationalbank

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Maria Antoinette Silgoner

Monetary Policy & the Economy, 2007, issue 1, 150–163

Abstract: Banknotes in circulation are traditionally the most important liability item in the balance sheet of central banks. The launch of euro cash created the need to treat this item in new way to reflect the joint liability of all Eurosystem members – the ECB and all national central banks (NCBs) of the euro area – for euro banknotes. In this context, the implications of banknote migration expected both within and outside the euro area, as well as its potential impact on the distribution of profits among the euro area central banks, were subject to extensive discussions already before the cash changeover. A major challenge for the Eurosystem has been the fair allocation of monetary income. This is the income accruing to the individual NCBs in the performance of their monetary policy functions. In particular, this income – traditionally referred to as seigniorage income – includes income derived from assets held against notes in circulation and deposit liabilities to credit institutions. The experience of the first five years after the cash changeover shows that the combination of all relevant aspects of the Eurosystem’s banknote circulation and seigniorage income rules has ensured a fair allocation of monetary income, the functional integrity of the Eurosystem,2 and thus the fulfillment of the objective stipulated by Article 32 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks3 (ESCB).

Keywords: Seigniorage; monetary income; banknotes; liability base. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E52 E58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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