How much money do you have, notes that is?

Well, according to the Reserve Bank, there were 43 bank notes for every Australian with an average value of around $1,900 at June 30. Around half of that would be in $50 bills, which are rapidly becoming the new $20 note, thanks to their increasing use in Automatic Teller Machines.

I don’t know about you but if that’s the case, my wallet is below par on most days. I’ve counted and at the moment I can only muster three notes, 40 short of the average number and over $1,800 short of the average. Drat!

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But then much of the money is in ATMs, cash registers, bank vaults and under a few beds, no doubt.

The RBA’s 2007 annual report reveals that there were 902 million banknotes on issue at the end of June this year. They had a value of $40.3 billion, up from $38.1 billion at the end of June 2006.

“This is equivalent to 43 banknotes worth about $1,900 for every Australian,” the bank said.

The bank said that:

By both value and number, the high denomination banknotes comprised the majority of banknotes on issue. Specifically, the $50 banknote accounted for nearly half of the value of banknotes on issue and 43 per cent of the number of banknotes on issue, while the $100 banknote accounted for 42 per cent of the value and 19 per cent of the number of banknotes on issue.

The bank said that at June 2006 the $50 continues to account for the largest number of notes on issue as well as the largest value; in June 2006, it accounted for over 47% of the value of all notes on issue.

At June 30, 2007 there were $591 million of $5 notes, $898 million of $10 notes, $2.846 billion of $20 notes, $19.228 billion of $50s and $16.730 billion of $100s. The value rose 3.9% (which was a bit short of GDP growth in 2007 of a high 4.3%).

At June 30, 2006 there were $572 million worth of $5 notes, $857 million of $10 notes, $2.69 billion of $20 notes, a massive $18.04 billion worth of $50 notes and $15.90 billion of $100 notes and it was up 3.9%.

And “there were no purchases of new $100 notes, as has been the case for several years, as the Reserve Bank continues to run down the stock of $100 notes acquired as a contingency for Y2K”.

That was the same in 2007 with no $100 bills purchased because of the overhang of stocks from Y2K (Now wasn’t that a fab idea back then)

The Reserve Bank said it took delivery of 245 million new banknotes from its subsidiary, Note Printing Australia in 2006/07, up from 220 million the previous year. This consisted of 51 million $5 banknotes, 42 million $10 banknotes, 80 million $20 banknotes and 72 million $50 banknotes.

The bank said that the total value of the higher-denomination banknotes, namely the $50 and $100, has increased as a share of GDP at the expense of some lower denominations.

“This partly reflects changes in the denominations withdrawn from ATMs, with the $50 increasingly replacing the $20 in many machines. In the case of the $100, which is only beginning to be issued from ATMs, its relative growth since its inception in 1984 is attributable to its role as a store of wealth.”

Yes, well, that might be the case, but those $100 notes keep eluding me.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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