The Bundesbank's last check in November revealed that there were around 170 million Deutsch Mark (D-Mark) notes unaccounted for, and 24 billion coins. This would make 13.05 billion D-Marks, or €6.67 billion.
But the Bundesbank said this was not a problem, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday. “A huge amount of D-Marks have been handed over anyway,” it said in a statement.
People who did not trust the euro had kept hold of some, as had collectors, the bank said. While a large amount were simply sat, forgotten about, in German homes.
There was probably also a large amount of D-Marks overseas mainly in former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe, the bank said.
The Bundesbank added that when a grandparent died relatives often found stashes of D-Marks under the carpet or hidden in furniture. One family even found wads of notes inside the panel of a bath, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said.
D-Marks can be swapped for free in Germany, whether in a bank or by post. From January to November 2013, 194,000 packages of money were sent to be swapped. In this were coins worth 105.6 million D-Marks – around €54 million.
Not all eurozone countries still swap old currencies. In France, Italy and Greece, the window of opportunity has closed. Spain will allow exchanges until 2020.