What Are Greece's Capital Controls?

Greece has imposed capital controls. Here's what the government has to say about the situation.

Capital Controls: How Greeks Are Affected

Greece's government has imposed capital controls and closed banks until after a July 5 referendum on a deal with European creditors.

The following is a translation of a document provided by the Greek government, giving details on the capital controls and responding to possible questions about the situation.

Capital Controls

  • From Monday, June 29, 2015, banks will remain closed up to and including Monday, July 6
  • Deposits are fully safeguarded
  • The payment of pensions is exempted from the restrictions on banking transactions. Management of credit institutions will announce how these will be paid
  • Electronic transactions within the country won’t be affected. All transactions with credit or debit cards and other electronic forms (web banking, phone banking) can be conducted as normal
  • Prepaid cards may be used to the limit existing before the beginning of the bank holiday
  • From midday June 29, ATMs will operate with a daily cash withdrawal limit of 60 euros per card, which is equivalent to 1,800 euros a month
  • Foreign tourists can make cash withdrawals from ATMs with their cards without restrictions provided these have been issued abroad
  • A special Committee to Approve Bank Transactions has been established at the State General Accounting Office in cooperation with the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Greece, the Union of Greek Banks and the Capital Markets Commission. This committee will deal with applications for urgent and imperative payments that can’t be satisfied through the cash withdrawal limits or by electronic transactions (e.g. payments abroad for health reasons). Wages paid electronically to bank accounts aren’t affected

Frequently Asked Questions (Government view)

What does the bank holiday mean?

This means that banks will remain shut for a few days.

When will banks reopen?

Banks will reopen on Tuesday, July 7

Will I lose my money or will my deposits be ‘haircut’?

Deposits are safeguarded. Greek banks are solvent and have recently successfully passed evaluations by the European Central Bank.

Will ATMs remain open?

ATMs will open at the latest by midday on Monday and will remain open during the bank holiday, which will last a few days.

How much money can I take from the ATM?

The daily cash withdrawal limit is 60 euros per card.

If the card is linked to more than one account, what happens?

For cards with more than one associated account, the daily limit is 60 euros.

If an account has more than one account holder, what happens?

For accounts with more than one account holder and more than one card, the daily limit is 60 euros for each card of an account holder. For example, for an account with two account holders who each have a card the daily limit is 60 euros per card, i.e. 120 euros for the account.

If more than one card is linked to it, what happens?

The daily limit of 60 euros a day relates to all the cards linked to the account. For example, an account with one account holder and two cards linked to the account means a daily limit of 60 euros.

Can I make cash withdrawals with my credit card?

Cash withdrawals with credit cards are limited to the daily limit of 60 euros. This transaction is liable for the interest and commission determined by the issuing bank.

Will I be able to use my cards to make purchases?

Credit and debt cards can be used as normal for purchases in Greece to the limit foreseen by the contract with the bank.

Can I use my cards for Internet purchases? 

Credit and debt cards can be used as normal for purchases at online businesses that hold accounts with a Greek bank.

Can I use a pre-paid card?

Payments can be conducted up to the limit imposed before the decree. Pre-paid cards can’t be replenished and no new ones can be issued.

Can I transfer cash through Internet/web/phone banking? 

Transfer by the Internet or phone can be conducted as normal provided the account which the funds are being transferred to is in Greece.

What happens to order for payments to utilities, loans, rent? 

Standing orders for payments will be conducted as normal provided these are to accounts in Greece.

Can I make inter-bank payments? 

Yes, provided these payments are to accounts in Greece.

If there are delays to scheduled payments to the state or banks as part of settlement of arrears, for example, will I lose the right to the settlement?

These payments can be done through web banking, phone banking or by ATM. No rights to the arrangements will be lost.

Will I lose my insurance contract - car, health? 

These payments can be done through web banking, phone banking or by ATM.

How can I send money abroad (for students/medical reasons)?

The Committee to Approve Banking Transactions at the State Accounting Office will be responsible for these.

Can credit cards of foreign banks be used? 

Credit and debit cards of foreign banks issued abroad can be used normally. Credit and debit cards of foreign banks issued in Greece are subject to the same terms as those valid for cards issued by Greek banks.

Will pensions be paid as usual?

Pensions will be paid as normal to accounts. Withdrawals will be conducted on the basis of the daily limit.

Will wages be paid as usual?

Yes, provided employers pay wages electronically.

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