Money £50

High value banknotes like the £50, €100 and €500 notes should be banned in order to tackle crime, according to the former chief executive of Standard Chartered.

In a report, Peter Sands said illegal money amounts to around $2 trillion (£1.4tn) a year, and these types of notes are favoured by drug lords, terrorists and tax cheats.

Mr Sands is calling for the matter to be debated at the next G20 summit in China, in September.

He explained that although banning the banknotes would not stop crime, it would make it harder for criminals to hide their transactions.

The former Standard Chartered boss said: "They play little role in the functioning of the legitimate economy, yet a crucial role in the underground economy... The irony is that they are provided to criminals by the state."

The European Commission has already confirmed that it is willing to investigate the use of €500 notes, but officials at the European Central Bank said it needed more evidence of criminal activity. In 2010, the UK government asked banks to stop accepting €500 notes because they are mainly used by criminals.