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Bank staff prepare to reopen branches in Cyprus

Banks in Cyprus are preparing to reopen after being closed for almost two weeks, amid the country's financial crisis. Customers will be subject to restrictions about the amount of cash that can be withdrawn.

An employee opens a safe inside a Bank of Cyprus branch before it opens in Nicosia. Credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
An employee counts money by an open safe inside a Laiki Bank branch before it opens. Credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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Cash delivered by security firms to Cypriot banks

Cash is being delivered to Cypriot banks by G4S security teams. The firm is also guarding branches as banks prepare to reopen after being closed for almost two weeks, amid the country's financial crisis.

A G4S van is seen leaving the Bank of Cyprus headquarters. Credit: EBU

Security firms don't expect 'chaos' as Cyprus banks open

John Arghyrou, managing director of G4S Cyprus, says he doesn't believe there will be a run on the banks in the country today as they reopen after being closed for nearly two weeks.

Security has been tightened around the country's banks as they get to set to re-open at 10am UK time. The banks were closed as a controversial international financial bailout was agreed and implemented.

Restrictions on withdrawals as Cyprus banks re-open

People in Cyprus will be able to visit their banks on Thursday for the first time in two weeks but restrictions have been introduced on what they are able to do.

These are reported to be:

  • Cash withdrawals from banks will be limited to €300 a day
  • Cashing of cheques have been banned
  • Businesses are barred from transferring money abroad unless they can show it is for imports
  • People leaving the island can take no more than €3,000 in notes
  • Limit of €5,000 per month on use of credit cards abroad
  • Families with members studying abroad cannot send more than €10,000 a term to relatives

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Limits on withdrawals as Cyprus banks due to re-open

As well as confirming that banks will open tomorrow the Bank of Cyprus has also announced new final capital controls.

View of the Bank of Cyprus in Nikosia, Cyprus Credit: Maurizio Gambarini/DPA/Press Association Images

This includes €1,000 cap on cash allowed for trips abroad per person per trip. The maximum amount of cash withdrawn may not exceed € 300 per day per person in each institution or its equivalent in foreign currency.

No cheques will be cashed and no specific date has yet been set for lifting of controls.

Financial restrictions facing Cypriots after bailout

The type of financial restrictions Cypriots may face after their country's bailout are beginning to emerge. One of the country's newspapers, Kathimerini, reports:

  • Cheques can be deposited, but not cashed
  • Non-cash payments abroad and cash exports outside Cyprus not allowed
  • Credit, debit and money transfers out of Cyprus are limited to €5,000 per month per person
  • No more than €3,000 per person can be taken out of the country per trip abroad

It's reported the measures will apply for a restricted period, but ministers can amend the time period.

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