ECONOMY

No changes to cash withdrawal ceiling

no-changes-to-cash-withdrawal-ceiling

The Finance Ministry is keeping the weekly cap on cash withdrawals at 420 euros but it is considering some small changes, such as letting account holders partially repay debts beyond the monthly installment, allowing new accounts to be opened for the purpose of collecting social benefits, as well as raising the limit on cash taken abroad from 500 to 1,000 euros without the need for documentation.

The ministry, the Bank of Greece and mainly the European Central Bank have rejected all calls for an increase to the cash withdrawal ceiling, with banks asking for that to rise to 500 euros per week, or for a monthly limit of 1,680 euros (equal to the weekly allowance of 420 euros multiplied by four) in a single withdrawal. Authorities explain that they have turned down those calls due to account holders’ lack of confidence in the banks, as reflected in the common practice of withdrawing the maximum weekly amount even when that is not needed. The unstable financial environment, also reflected in plummeting stock prices, is another reason.

The changes to the existing capital controls that the ministry is considering are expected to be announced in the next few days, sources say.