April 6, 2013

Cyprus loosens restrictions on banking transfers

The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus' finance ministry further loosened restrictions on access to accounts in the debt-ridden country's two biggest lenders on Friday by allowing limited bank-to-bank money transfers.

The ministry issued a new decree stating that individuals can transfer up to 2,000 euros ($2,588) from one bank to another each month. Business can transfer as much as 10,000 ($12,944) euros from bank to bank per month.

The new decree will remain in force for another seven days.

Cypriot officials said the limits will be lifted gradually over the next weeks to allow confidence to return in the country's decimated banking sector, but local businesses are feeling the pinch from the liquidity crunch.

Cyprus imposed the limits last month to head off a potential bank run. Lenders were shut for nearly two weeks to allow the country to finalize a 10 billion euro ($12.94 billion) bailout with its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund.

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