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Cyprus’s banks open after two weeks as controls curb panic

Tourism

Cyprus’s banks opened for the first time in almost two weeks, with new rules curbing access to cash preventing an initial panic to withdraw deposits. Dozens of people were waiting when bank doors opened at 1000 GMT, but the lines had vanished when they closed six hours later. Yiangos Dimitriou, head of the central bank’s audit department had said they would be in effect for four days. Banks handed customers lists of the curbs, including a daily withdrawal limit of €300 ($385), a ban on cashing cheques and a €1,000 ceiling on money being taken abroad by travelers. Cyprus’s lenders have been closed since March 16, when the European Union presented a proposal to force losses on all depositors in exchange for a €10 billion bailout. A subsequent agreement shut Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, the second-largest lender, and imposed larger losses on uninsured depositors.. Dozens of people were waiting when bank doors opened at 1000 GMT, but the lines had vanished when they closed six hours later. Yiangos Dimitriou, head of the central bank’s audit department had said they would be in effect for four days. Banks handed customers lists of the curbs, including a daily withdrawal limit of €300 ($385), a ban on cashing cheques and a €1,000 ceiling on money being taken abroad by travelers. Cyprus’s lenders have been closed since March 16, when the European Union presented a proposal to force losses on all depositors in exchange for a €10 billion bailout. A subsequent agreement shut Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, the second-largest lender, and imposed larger losses on uninsured depositors.

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