Topic: Globe&Mail: Bank of Canada battles counterfeiting  (Read 4422 times)
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« on: February 06, 2007, 10:48:44 pm »


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Bank of Canada is stepping up its effort to combat counterfeiting.

The central bank aims to more than halve the level of funny money to less than 100 detected annually per million notes in circulation by 2009, from about 225 per million last year and 470 two years ago, deputy governor David Longworth said Tuesday.

The bank also plans to work with the RCMP to build a database of counterfeiting information, beef up its bank note distribution system and monitor the use of “alternative means of payment,” he said.

The moves come as counterfeiting has surged in Canada in the past five years, breaking records and reportedly making Canada one of the worst in the world for the circulation of phony notes.

The term “counterfeiting” refers to more than just false bank notes. It also includes forged credit cards, traveler's cheques, passports and other identity documents. Ontario was home to the lion's share of seized notes in 2005, followed by Quebec, according to the RCMP's website.

While the central bank has done “fairly well” so far to stop the problem, more clearly needs to be done.

“Can we do better? We think we can,” Mr. Longworth said in a speech to the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. “We believe that we can further reduce the incidence of counterfeiting.”

Commenting on the state of Canadian growth, Mr. Longworth said the economy is “doing well, and inflation is close to target.”

The central bank sees the economy operating at, or just above, capacity and the outlook to next year is for it to remain “close to potential,” the deputy governor said.

© The Globe and Mail

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