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On 1 July 2016, a single currency monitoring centre starts functioning at Latvijas Banka. The centre has been formed by joining the forces and functions of the National Analysis Centre, the Coin National Analysis Centre (both currently within the structure of the Latvian State Police) and the National Counterfeit Centre (currently within the structure of Latvijas Banka).

Identification and analysis of counterfeit money have so far been performed at both Latvijas Banka and the respective police departments. Up to now, the currency experts of Latvijas Bankas have only performed the verification of the euro coins and notes (of the lats coins and notes prior to the changeover to the euro).   

From now on, Latvijas Banka will examine all suspected counterfeit euro money as well as banknotes and coins denominated in other currencies, provide the opinion of a competent authority on detected forgery, and report it to the State Police for the latter to undertake all criminal proceedings under the Criminal Procedure Law of Latvia. In such a way, Latvijas Banka will become a national one stop agency with regard to the verification of suspected counterfeit money.  

It is important for residents and businesses to know that money notes for identification and analysis will be accepted at Latvijas Banka Cashier's Offices and nearest police stations. Suspected notes submitted to a nearest police station will be delivered to Latvijas Banka, which will examine them and provide replies to submitters within one month.

The decision to merge all counterfeit money identification and analysis functions within one authority, i.e. Latvijas Banka, has been made to meet the objective of effectively combating money counterfeiting, timely detecting euro forgeries, more efficient identification and analysis of suspected counterfeits as well as ensuring smooth exchange of information about forgeries. The optimisation of these functions will enable Latvia to fulfil its international currency security commitments more effectively.

The joint centre will start functioning on 1 July 2016. Experts of Latvijas Banka have been actively engaging in explanatory campaigns prior and after this date, providing the information about pending changes in money processing to currency handling entities (e.g. commercial banks and currency collection firms) and regional police departments.

Latvijas Banka has all the resources needed for the implementation of the newly-assigned functions at its disposal, and additional financing from the state budget will not be requested. In addition, some budget resources will be saved for the police to more effectively perform other expert examinations. The Money Technology Division of Latvijas Banka will employ four (instead of currently three) currency experts, of whom two will perform other professional duties as well.

"Preparing for the new one stop agency for the examination of counterfeit money has taken around one year. Our cooperation with the police has thus far been excellent, but we saw some room for optimisation via concentrating all identification and analysis functions within the competence of one entity, i.e. Latvijas Banka," notes Andris Tauriņš, Head of Money Technology Division of Latvijas Banka. "It is essential for residents, businesses and organisations involved in currency circulation to know that in the future the verification of all foreign currency coins and banknotes will be carried out by Latvijas Banka, and we are strongly committed to make the process smooth and of good quality."

Latvijas Banka is the central bank of Latvia – an independent institution and a participant of the Eurosystem. The primary objective of Latvijas Banka is the same as that of the central banks of other euro area countries and the ECB – price stability (inflation rate of below, but close to, 2% over the medium term). This is an essential precondition for a strong and growth-oriented economy. To achieve that, Latvijas Banka participates in the formulation, related decision-making and implementation of the Eurosystem's monetary policy. Acting in the public and economic interests, Latvijas Banka carries out the following main tasks within the Eurosystem:

  •                  manages foreign reserves;
  •                  issues cash in Latvia and participates in ensuring the cash circulation process in the euro area;
  •                  promotes smooth operation of the payment systems;
  •                  compiles financial and monetary statistics as well as balance of payments statistics;
  •                  maintains and develops the Credit Register.

Latvijas Banka promotes analysis and research of macroeconomic and financial issues, thereby laying a secure foundation for professional activities in these areas. The role of the leading industry expert helps Latvijas Banka enhance the public understanding of the fundamentals of the economy and the monetary system and the current situation. 

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