The government is expected to raise the maximum amount that people can withdraw from their bank accounts each month from 2,300 euros to 4,000-5,000 euros, as the capital controls are eased further. This is seen happening after the country’s creditors grant their approval, which is expected next month.
The increase in the withdrawal limit will not be accompanied by an increase in the capital that can be taken out of the country, as the cash withdrawn will have to remain in Greece. According to bank officials, this means that the main aim of the increase in the withdrawal limit is to impress the market, without being of any particular substance.
The same sources note that it is only a very small number of depositors that withdraw 2,300 euros per month anyway. Bank data show that the average amount of withdrawals per client per month is below 1,000 euros and closer to 800 euros.
The reason is that those with a bank balance of more than 2,000 euros only represent a small number of workers, which is due to the dramatic reduction of salaries that today average around 1,000 euros per month.
The measure will not affect time deposit accounts either, given that the increase in the withdrawal limit will not come with an easing of restrictions in taking money abroad. The massive outflow of deposits in the past came during periods of high insecurity, bank officials note, stressing that conditions in the country have by and large reverted to normal and such risks are no longer expected anymore.
Banks are reserved about such a measure as it will not have any substantial impact while the impact of revoking it – even for external reasons – will be very strong.
The Finance Ministry is also considering raising travelers’ cash limit from 2,300 euros to 3,000 euros per month, while in the effort to make things easier for enterprises that make transactions abroad the ministry is examining doubling the limit on money forwarded abroad directly through bank branches from 20,000 to 40,000 euros.