Greek Banks Admit To Charging For Converting Large Bills

Note: How nice of them to be ‘honest’ for once. However, like the writer says, this is a clever way to ‘call in the money’. The Greeks are much smarter than Americans. The Greeks fear confiscation. The only negative aspect of this type of move likely to be noticed in America is the inconvenience of having to go to a bank. Despite the level of indebtedness in America, there is still a significant amount of cash money in the system. Something to keep in mind as the tomfoolery progresses. Do not be distracted by the circus otherwise known as the election. It means little or nothing in the grand scheme as the policy has already been crafted.

Earlier this month, a reader noticed something rather disturbing. Piraeus Bank seemed to have added a new line item in one of its reports and that new line item appeared to suggest that the bank was set to charge customers for exchanging €500 notes for smaller bills.

And it wasn’t just Piraeus. Other Greek banks looked to be doing something similar.

Now it would be bad enough if this was just another example of banks making up for lost margins by passing ZIRP and NIRP onto customers via fees or if this were simply Greek banks being forced to squeeze a little extra out of their retail business because they are still wholly insolvent. But it’s the timing of these new exchange taxes that raises eyebrows.

Remember, reports began to circulate earlier this year that the ECB was considering doing away with the €500 note. That was distressing news for many Greeks who last year, fearing the troika may one day threaten to essentially confiscate their savings (again), eschewed the bank in favor of the mattress. Obviously, much of that mattress money is denominated in €500 notes – notes which Draghi is now set to phase out.

Upon hearing the news, “many in Greece – especially older people – rushed to deposit the money in their accounts,” eKathimerini wrote last month, adding that “bank officials say depositing the 500-euro notes at a bank is the only way for people to rid themselves of them without losing the money, as it is not possible to exchange them for smaller notes.”

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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