Polish banks limit foreign currency withdrawals due to coronavirus

WARSAW, March 23 (Reuters) - Polish banks have had to limit foreign currency withdrawals for customers in recent days due to cash shortages because of coronavirus-related transport curbs, but most problems are being resolved, bank lobby head Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz said on Monday.

Central bank governor Adam Glapinski said last week that lenders would be supplied with hard currency for clients if necessary.

“Some banks have withheld or limited cash withdrawals in foreign currencies for a few hours or a few days. For logistical reasons in such situations as an epidemic, there may be transport problems, such as airplane restrictions,” Pietraszkiewicz told Reuters.

“An initial reaction by people (to withdraw cash in hard currency) is fading... I am not receiving any signals that problems persist. The situation will be returning to normal.”

Pietraszkiewicz also said electronic foreign currency transfers were not affected.

Poland has so far shut schools, cinemas and theaters, limited public gatherings to no more than 50 people, and banned foreigners from entering the country, in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The largest economy in the east of the European Union, it has reported 692 coronavirus cases, including eight deaths.

The central bank was not available to comment.

The Polish zloty currency on Monday lost more than two percent hitting its weakest level to euro since April 2009 at 4.615 zloty per euro. (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski, Anna Koper, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, and Alan Charlish; Editing by Angus MacSWan)