Invalid Swiss 1000-franc banknotes
Invalid Swiss 1000-franc banknotes in circulation
Since autumn 2012, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been aware of the fact that there is a small number of Swiss 1000-franc banknotes in circulation which were not issued by the SNB. Investigations have revealed that around 1,800 notes, with a value of CHF 1.8 million, were abstracted during the production process at Orell Füssli. The banknotes in question have not been through all stages of production. The matter is currently being investigated by Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General. In agreement with the Office of the Attorney General and out of consideration for these investigations, this information was not publicised before now (cf. also Orell Füssli press release).
The banknotes can be identified by the fact that they have no serial number or that the serial number has been subsequently printed onto the notes. It is also possible that the perforated number (microperf®) is missing or has been tampered with. The invalid banknotes are difficult to recognise at first glance. Anyone suspecting that they may be in possession of an invalid 1000-franc note can take their notes to a bank and request that they be examined to establish its authenticity. Alternatively, the banknotes can be handed in for checking at the Counterfeit Currency Central Office (Federal Office of Police, Nussbaumstrasse 29, 3003 Berne), the Swiss National Bank (Börsenstrasse 15, Zurich or Bundesplatz 1, Berne) or a police station.
Those in possession of such banknotes will be reimbursed the nominal value. Orell Füssli will cover the cost of the damages; the corresponding refund payments will be carried out via the SNB.
The press release published by Orell Füssli can be found at their website.
Information on the various security features of Swiss banknotes is available on the Swiss National Bank’s website under Banknotes and coins.
Verification and Refunds
Refunds and recommendations for invalid Swiss 1000-franc banknotes in circulation, which were not issued by the Swiss National Bank but abstracted during the production process at Orell Füssli:
How can I tell if my 1000-franc banknote is one of the invalid ones?
The invalid 1000-franc banknotes are difficult to recognise as such at first glance. They can be identified either by the fact that they have no serial number or that the serial number has been subsequently printed onto them. It is also possible that the perforated number (microperf®) is missing or was added later. Banknotes that came into your possession prior to 2012 are not affected.
If you suspect that you have an invalid 1000-franc note, you can ask a bank to check if it is genuine. Alternatively, suspect banknotes can be handed in for checking at the Counterfeit Currency Central Office (Federal Office of Police, Nussbaumstrasse 29, 3003 Berne), the Swiss National Bank (Börsenstrasse 15, Zurich or Bundesplatz 1, Berne) or a police station.
To ensure that any evidence remaining on the banknotes is not damaged or destroyed, the Office of the Attorney General asks that you do not touch the notes – particularly the serial numbers – more than absolutely necessary.
How should I proceed in order to be reimbursed for an invalid 1000-franc banknote (nominal value)?
If your banknote turns out to be invalid, you will be reimbursed (for the banknote’s nominal value) via the Swiss National Bank. If you hand in your suspect banknote to the Swiss National Bank, you will be asked to apply for reimbursement immediately. If you submit your banknote to the police/prosecution service, you will be requested to make the relevant application during the course of the investigation.