Egypt’s banks introduce limitations on cash withdrawals and deposits amid COVID-19 outbreak

0
227
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask withdraws money from an ATM at the Al Shohadaa "Martyrs" metro station as Egypt ramps up efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Cairo, Egypt, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask withdraws money from an ATM at the Al Shohadaa “Martyrs” metro station as Egypt ramps up efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19 in Cairo, Egypt, March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

Egyptian banks have been instructed to apply temporary limits on daily withdrawals and deposits in a move seemingly designed to control inflation and hoarding during the coronavirus’ spread

The daily limit for individuals would be 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($635) and 50,000 pounds for companies, a central bank statement said, though businesses will be exempt from the withdrawal limits if the money is used to pay employees.

The central bank has also limited daily ATM withdrawals and deposits to 5,000 pounds, it said in a statement.

Central bank governor Tarek Amer said on a talk show late on Sunday that 30 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.91 billion) have been withdrawn from banks in the past three weeks.

“We found that individuals are withdrawing money from the banks although they did not need it … they withdrew 30 billion pounds in the past three weeks. We want some discipline. We live in a society and we have to think of others,” Amer said.

The central bank has also urged people in the statement to limit their use of banknotes and to rely on electronic transfers and e-payments, adding that it instructed banks to cancel fees on transfers and e-payment methods “for the citizens’ convenience.”

“Not official, but I heard (it was designed) to control hoarding and inflation,” said one analyst who asked not to be named.

“This could reduce hoarding and panic buying and contain prices,” a second analyst said.

Leave a Reply