Withdrawal Limits for Egyptian Travelers Lowered as Banks Seek to Conserve Scarce Forex – Bitcoin News

A report claims that some Egyptian banks have recently advised clients planning to travel to Egypt that the maximum amount they can withdraw is $2,000 Banks have also reduced the foreign exchange clients can withdraw abroad. Egypt’s ongoing shortage of foreign exchange has forced some merchants to start demanding payment in dollars.

Depreciation in Pounds

A report claims that banks are restricting the amounts of foreign currency travellers can withdraw from Egypt before they leave or abroad to ease pressure on the pound. Although there is no official announcement regarding the change, the banks have sent clients notices informing them of it.

One of these banks is HSBC. According to Reuters, the bank has told its customers that they cannot withdraw more than $1,500 in foreign currency for travel. Before the changes, the bank’s clients could withdraw a maximum of $5,000. The report, which cites two unnamed sources, added that once abroad, clients will only be allowed to withdraw a maximum of $5,000 — down from $10,000.

According to Commercial International Bank clients who planned to travel, they were told by the bank that forex withdrawals could be limited to an amount of $1,000-$2,000. First Abu Dhabi Bank, another financial institution, has reported that the maximum withdrawal limit was now $518 or 10,000 dollars.

Egypt’s biting foreign currency shortages and the depreciating currency have prompted merchants, including real estate companies and car dealers, to start demanding payment in foreign currency. While this practice is said to be illegal, according to Ahmed Shiha, Egyptian companies doing this “are taking advantage of the circumstances and the customers’ needs for specific products.”

Save Interest by Savings Deposit

Shiha proposed indexing prices and linking them to the greenback, instead of asking for or charging US dollars. Shiha said:

This would have made it easier for the companies to declare their prices equal to the actual product value in dollars on the date of purchase.

Meanwhile, another report has revealed that two of Egypt’s largest state-owned banks have now doubled the interest rate on US dollar saving certificates. Banque Misr has increased the interest rates paid for deposits, from 2.25% up to 5.3%. The National Bank of Egypt said that savings will earn interest at 5.5%.

The report, which relies on the testimony of two unnamed sources, suggested the increases were in response to the central bank’s call on financial institutions to introduce products that shield against currency depreciation.

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Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara, a Zimbabwean journalist, writer and author who has been awarded the Zimbabwe Booker Prize. His writings have covered the economic problems of several African countries and how digital currency can offer an escape route.

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