Cyprus: Rules for Sanctioned Deposit Confiscations


Cyprus Shakedown


by Mitch Feierstein


Order under articles 4 and 5

WHEREAS there is a substantial lack of liquidity and a significant risk in the outflow of deposits which are likely to endanger the survival of the credit institutions with a chain reaction that could lead to the instability of the financial system and to destabilising consequences on the entire economy and the society of the country.

 AND WHEREAS under the circumstances a state of emergency is created, to safeguard public order and public security and for overriding reasons of public interest,  12(I) of 2013The Minister of Finance, in exercising the powers conferred by articles 4 and 5 of The Enforcement of Restrictive Measures on Transactions in a Situation of Emergency Law of 2013, following a recommendation of the Governor of the Central Bank, issues the following Order:  Short title.1. The present Directive shall be referred to as The Enforcement of Restrictive Measures on Transactions in a Situation of Emergency First Order of 2013.  Interpretation2. (1)  In the present Order unless the context shall otherwise prescribe:   «Committee» means the Committee that is introduced under article 9 of the Law.
«Law» means The Enforcement of Restrictive Measures on Transactions in a Situation of Emergency Law of 2013.
«Credit or debit or prepaid card» means credit or debit card or prepaid card issued by credit institutions.
(2) Terms not defined in this order shall have the meaning ascribed to them by the Law.  Imposition of restrictive measures.
3. By virtue of articles 4 and 5 of the Law, and following the recommendation and agreement of the Governor, the following restrictive measures are imposed:
(1)    A maximum amount of cash withdrawal is imposed, which shall not exceed the daily limit of €300 per person per credit institution, or its equivalent in foreign currency. All cash withdrawals (through debit cards, prepaid cards, and from the bank’s tellers and using credit cards against balances in current accounts) are computed per account holder for all his accounts in each credit institution.
Provided that any amount of the daily cash withdrawal limit, which has not been withdrawn during the day for which the cash withdrawal limit applies, can be withdrawn at any time afterwards.
(2)  The cashing of cheques is prohibited.
(3)  Any cashless payments or transfers of funds outside the Republic or to accounts held with other credit institutions is prohibited, except that:
(i)             Payments for transactions that fall within the ordinary business activities of customers upon presentation of supporting documents as follows:
(A)  Payments of up to €5,000 daily per account are not prohibited;
(B) Payments of amounts from €5,001 to €200,000 are subject to the approval of the Committee. A list of applications for payments that fall within this category shall be submitted to the Committee by the credit institution on a daily basis and shall state the amount of each payment, the total amount and the number of payments that fall within this category. The Committee in making a decision, which must be made within 24 hours, shall take into account the available liquidity reserves of the credit institution.
(C) Payments of amounts of €200,001 or more, if the prior approval of the Committee for the specific payment is obtained after an application has been made by the credit institution. The Committee in making a decision shall take into account the available liquidity reserves of the credit institution.
(ii)           The Payment of employee salaries upon presentation of supporting documents.
(iii)          Living expenses up to €5,000 per quarter, as well as the tuition fees of a person that is studying abroad and is a first-degree relative of a person who has his habitual residence in the Republic. Provided that any payment of living expenses is only permitted if documents are submitted to the credit institution evidencing that the recipient of the cashless payment and/or transfer of funds is a first-degree relative of a person who has his habitual residence in the Republic. Provided further that payments of tuition fees may only be made to the relevant educational institution if supporting documents are submitted.
(iv)          Payments and/or transfers of funds by debit or credit or prepaid card, up to €5,000 per month per person per credit institution.
(4)  The termination of fixed term deposits before the maturity date is prohibited, unless the deposit shall be used for the repayment of a loan within the same credit institution.
(5)  On the first maturity of fixed term deposits, an amount equal to the greater of €5,000 and 10% of the total principal amount of the fixed deposit, shall be transferred, at the option of the depositor, to a sight/current account or deposited in a new fixed term deposit of the depositor in the same bank. For the remaining balance, the maturity shall be extended by one month.
(6)  Funds from transferred from fixed term deposits to sight/current accounts will be subject to the restrictive measures applicable to sight/current accounts.
(7)  Exports of euro notes and/or foreign currency notes exceeding €1,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency per natural person per journey abroad is prohibited. The Director of Customs shall implement this measure.
(8) Any financial transaction, payment and/or transfer that was not finalised before this Order came into force shall be subject to the restrictive measures. Provided that any financial transaction, payment, and/or transfer that was not processed before this Order came into force shall be cancelled and must be resubmitted.
(9) Credit institutions are prohibited from executing any cashless transfers that facilitate the circumvention of the restrictive measures.
(10)The restrictive measures apply to all accounts, payments and transfers regardless of the currency denomination.  Exemptions.4.  Exempted from the restrictive measures are:

  1. All new funds transferred from abroad to the Republic.
  2. Withdrawal of cash from accounts held abroad using credit or debit card or prepaid issued by foreign institutions.
  3. The cashing of cheques issued on accounts held with foreign institutions abroad.
  4. Withdrawal of cash from account of credit institutions with the Central Bank.
  5. The Republic.
  6. The Central Bank.
  7. Diplomatic missions.
  8. Payments that have been approved by the Committee. is blog is about these issues. It’ll shout out when politicians and bankers do things wrong. It’ll cheer on those rare occasions when politicians get things right. will also talk about the dollar in your purse, the pound in your pocket. The value of your savings is under threat and, as a professional investment manager, Mitch Feierstein will share with you his philosophy on how to preserve your savings from destruction. These are dangerous times and they’re only just starting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mitch Feierstein is a highly successful hedge-fund manager and CEO of the Glacier Environmental Fund Limited. Prior to this he was Senior Portfolio Manager of the Cheyne Carbon Fund, part of one of the largest and best-respected hedge-fund groups operating in Europe. He divides his time between London and New York.


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