will containment cause a shortage of banknotes to distributors?

The Banque de France indicates that cash withdrawals which had increased slightly before the start of containment have declined sharply since. The institution as well as the union representatives of the sector assure that the distributors are supplied and that no stock-out is to be feared.

ATMs stormed before the start of the containment, emptied of their contents by panicked consumers making provisions of money, and not restocked since by the money carriers. Here is the catastrophic scenario imagined by some Internet users on social networks, while the French are called to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Is there really a risk of a shortage of new money or is it more “fake news” around the epidemic? Franceinfo is interested in this rumor.

In the days and hours before the start of confinement, the Banque de France observed an increase in cash withdrawals from distributors, France Erick Lacourrège, managing director of the financial institution in charge of services, told franceinfo. economy and network. “It was not a tidal wave”, comments the manager. But the increase was significant: “from 10 to 30%”, depending on the collection points. “Some distributors have been emptied”, recognize Erick Lacourrège, advancing the statistics of “1 to 3% of the park”.

Since the start of containment, the Banque de France has observed an opposite trend. Cash withdrawals from ATMs have dropped, “from 30 to 50% depending on the location”, calculate Erick Lacourrège. “The effects of confinement are felt, he analyzes. Our fellow citizens no longer go out to withdraw cash and they no longer have opportunities to spend cash, apart from basic necessities. ”

The same decrease in withdrawals from distributors and cash payments is observed in Italy and SpainErick Lacourrègeat franceinfo

For this director general of the Banque de France, the rumor of a shortage of cash is “an urban legend”. The institution has certainly stopped its activity of sorting used tickets, in order to reduce the number of employees mobilized to the bare essentials, in accordance with the recommendations of the authorities. Old banknotes are therefore no longer reinjected into the economy. But it continues to provide money transporters with new tickets, out of its stocks, confirms to Franceinfo Pascal Gabay, deputy central delegate of the CGT Banque de France.

“We have at least five weeks of stock in each of our locations in France”, assess Erick Lacourrège. These reserves are established on the basis of normal consumption. With confinement, withdrawals have dropped by almost a third or even half. The provisions of the Banque de France should therefore make it possible to hold out for another five weeks. Not to mention that the institution always has the possibility of making new tickets to replace those that are no longer returned to the financial circuit. And “If the state of stocks requires it, we will resume in the future the activity of sorting tickets”, adds the institution.

But is there not a risk that the conveyors will stop working for fear of being contaminated and become the weak link in this chain? There are three of them inside a can of sardines – if you pardon the expression – and some consider that they are not safe and threaten to assert their right of withdrawal “, reports Luc Mathieu, secretary general of the CFDT banks and insurance.

It’s just about “some isolated cases”, “a minority”, temper Pascal Quiroga, national coordinator of the CFDT cash transport, and François Daoust, general delegate of the Federation of Fiduciary Security Companies. “ATMs have been replenished at the highest level at the request of banks”, insists Pascal Quiroga.

“As of next week, CIT companies will be laid off because many of their customers have closed, indicates the trade unionist, but the cash transport activities to the banks will be maintained. “” The ATMs are not out of stock. They are full, they are full and they will continue to be full, insists François Daoust. There is no shortage. You have to twist your neck on this ‘fake news’. ”