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2 main Cyprus banks slash ATM withdrawal limits

PTI Nicosia | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 25, 2013

The two main banks at the centre of Cyprus’s financial crisis have slashed the daily cash withdawal limits from ATM machines, state media reported.

With queues growing outside cash machines across the island, Laiki (Popular) Bank has cut the maximum withdrawals at ATMs to €100 a day and the Bank of Cyprus reduced its limit to €120 a day, the Cyprus News Agency said.

Laiki Bank, Cyprus’s second biggest lender, had already restricted withdrawals to €260 a day on Thursday after its ATMs were besieged by customers drawing their previous daily limits of €700.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was in bailout talks in Brussels on restructuring the island’s banks and dealing with a mounting cash shortfall via a “haircut”, or levy, of large bank deposits.

The Mediterranean island faces possible exit from the euro, with the European Central Bank due to halt funding on Monday. Cyprus banks are not due to reopen until Tuesday after a 10-day shutdown.

Cyprus Parliament has already passed a legislation to put all Laiki deposits over €100,000 into a “bad bank” where they will be tied up for years and may never be fully recovered.

But negotiations have stumbled on EU-IMF demands for a substantial levy on deposits above the same threshold in the Bank of Cyprus to avoid it facing similar restructuring. The island’s largest lender, it holds more than a third of all deposits.

Published on March 25, 2013
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