CBE Battles Illegal Exchange of US Dollars

by Asmaa Elwahy

CBE Battles Illegal Exchange of US Dollars

According to local media sources, the Central Bank of Egypt has recently established new regulations which outlaw the overuse of e-payment cards and all fake currency exchanges.

The bank formally stated that it detected massive currency exchanges by Egyptian citizens with no proof of leaving the country, through its usual inspection for credit and debit cards used abroad.

The current law firmly binds citizens to limit their EGP to USD exchange for traveling only. Most banks and foreign exchange offices require documented evidence, including flight tickets and passports, before making any transactions.

Banks sent mobile SMS alerts to law-breaking customers abroad, last Thursday, informing them of the new purchase limits, and warning them against the illegal trading of the US currency. The limit range varies based on the card type.

So far, banks have reduced overseas cash withdrawals and purchase limits depending on the type of cards owned by traveling customers. Several banks have additionally raised their interest rates on purchases and cash withdrawals from 3% – 7% to reach 10% for every transaction, including CIB, NBE, and AAIB.

That came following the newly issued regulations by the CBE to control e-payment cards’ overuse in light of the exceeding economic insecurity in Egypt due to the dramatic drop in the Egyptian pound, compared to the US dollar, estimated at 14%, as a result of the Ukraine-Russia war. All that caused major fluctuation in prices, a new record low for the Egyptian currency, as well as a huge investment setback.

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