Myanmar central bank to limit cash withdrawal from banks, ATMs

Individuals will not be allowed to withdraw more than 2 million kyat US$1,400) from their bank accounts from Monday. AFP)

YANGON (Bloomberg): The Central Bank of Myanmar is limiting cash withdrawals from banks and automated teller machines a month after the country's military coup.

Individuals will not be allowed to withdraw more than 2 million kyat (US$1,400) from their bank accounts from Monday (March 1) while businesses will be allowed to withdraw up to 20 million kyat a week, according to a directive signed by central bank Deputy Governor Than Than Swe.

The move is aimed at "facilitating the transition to digital economy" by reducing cash usage among government agencies and the public, said the letter dated March 1.

"Banks need to prioritise e-payments and electronic transfers for improving cash management of banks and non-bank financial institutions," the statement says.

ATM cash withdrawals will be capped at 500,000 kyat a day, half of the previous daily limit of 1 million kyat.

May Toe Win, director general of the Central Bank of Myanmar's foreign exchange management department, confirmed late Sunday that the letter sent to all banks in the South-east Asian country was authentic.

With the exception of state-run Myanma Economic Bank, most banks have suspended branch operations following unrest sparked off by the Feb 1 coup.

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