(Adds finance ministry comments, background)
NICOSIA, March 28 Cyprus abolished maximum daily
cash withdrawal limits from bank accounts on Friday, a year
after it imposed capital controls to prevent economic meltdown
and a flight of cash under the terms of a painful international
In a decree issued by the finance ministry, the 300 euro
limit per person per day was scrapped, along with restrictions
on breaking fixed-interest time deposits prior to maturity.
The decree also allowed, under conditions, individuals to
open bank accounts in other credit institutions.
The finance ministry said the decision was taken because a
performance-linked roadmap of stabilising the banking sector had
One of the benchmarks was completing the merger of Co-Op
banks, a network of small lenders which received bailout money
under terms of 10 billion euros in international aid to Cyprus.
Individuals were also allowed to transfer up to 50,000 euros
in funds per month without supporting documentation, and
businesses 200,000, the finance ministry said.
Restrictions remain on moving money abroad. Cypriot
officials have previously said they anticipate that all controls
could be fully lifted by the end of 2014.
Cyprus was forced to wind down a major bank and convert
large deposits in a second to recapitalise it in order to
qualify for aid from the International Monetary Fund and the
(Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by John Stonestreet)