May 31, 2018 / 11:49 AM / 2 years ago

Greece to ease capital controls, raises monthly cash withdrawal limit

FILE PHOTO: People line up to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) outside a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will raise the monthly limit of cash that can be withdrawn from bank accounts to 5,000 euros from 2,300 euros as part of measures to ease capital controls imposed three years ago, the government said on Thursday.

The Finance Ministry’s decision will come into effect once it is published in the government gazette.

Athens first imposed capital controls in the summer of 2015, to stem a flight of cash from its banks at the height of a debt crisis which led to its third financial bailout since 2010.

The ministry will also raise the limit of cash, in euros or foreign currency, that can be taken abroad in banknotes to 3,000 euros from 2,300 euros previously.

As part of the easing, the ministry said, banks would be allowed to accept customer orders for money transfers abroad for up to 4,000 euros bi-monthly, effective from July 1.

The new regulations also increase the limit of money that can be sent abroad by legal entities as part of their business transactions to 40,000 euros from 20,000 euros daily.

“The decision is one more step along the roadmap towards a full relaxation of capital controls,” the ministry said.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Alison Williams

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