Egypt’s central bank makes exemptions for limits on cash withdrawal overseas

According to Ahram online, The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has ordered banks to remove the recently-announced limits on overseas cash withdrawals in foreign currency for ex-pats who need the cash for medical treatment or education.


The CBE also ordered banks to remove limits on bank cards for those who travelled before the announcement of the latest restrictions on 22 December, the source added.


The CBE also affirmed that the latest restrictions do not include customers whose accounts are in foreign currency or cardholders who make purchases using their foreign currency accounts, the source affirmed.


The CBE announced new restrictions on foreign currency withdrawals abroad on Thursday, as the country struggles with a currency shortage. A black market has developed in which the US dollar is traded for more than EGP 30, compared to the official exchange rate of EGP 24.7.


According to a circular issued on Thursday, the CBE said it has found that bank cards are being used abroad to collect hard currency even though their owners are in Egypt.


The CBE also said that clients in Egypt are exchanging local currency for US dollars despite having no intention of travelling abroad.


Banks sent mobile messages to their customers on Thursday informing them of the purchase limits while abroad. These limits differ according to the type of card.

The state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has reportedly reduced daily and monthly withdrawal limits in foreign currency overseas to less than a quarter of its previous limits.


Also on Thursday, the NBE and state-owned Banque Misr raised their fees for foreign cash withdrawals by debit and credit cards overseas to 10 per cent instead of the previous 3 per cent.

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