Cash use in Germany Cash hoarding by German households – an empirical analysis of how much cash they store and why

Cash use in Germany
Estimates by the Bundesbank suggest that banknotes worth around €268 billion were in circulation in Germany in 2018. Of that amount, roughly 20% was used directly for transactions. The other, far larger share – somewhere in the region of €200 billion – was being hoarded, i.e. stored for an extended period of time by households and firms.

To discover more about the whereabouts of these cash reserves and how they were being used, the Bundesbank commissioned a research survey at the beginning of 2018. The study provides an overview of how much cash individuals in Germany store and why. In particular, it explores the extent to which the amounts of cash stored might be related to tax offences, such as illicit work or tax evasion.