Forex scarcity: Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank, others cut customers’ foreign spending

  • ATM withdrawal reduces by 50%, debit master card also

By Odunewu Segun

Cash withdrawal from ATMs’ outside the country has been cut by 50%, from $300 a day to $150 a day, while customers with debit master card can only spend $350 a day online or on a Point of Sale (POS) as banks terminals as against the previous daily limit of $1,000 a day.

This measures National Daily gathered was taken by some major commercial banks in the country over the issue of foreign exchange scarcity which has made them to intensify a downward review of the spending limits on debit cards overseas.

Both Stanbic IBTC and Ecobank have issued fresh notices to their customers, informing them of the reduction in the amount they could withdraw abroad.

According to the notice from Stanbic IBTC, the total amount that could be withdrawn from any ATM abroad on a Stanbic IBTC debit master card is $750, while the total amount that could be spent online and on POS in a month is now $1,750. Total cumulative monthly spending on all the two platforms is now only $2500.

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The new lower limits came as the country’s dollar reserves keep dwindling, forcing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement policies aimed at slowing down the dwindling reserves. Other banks are also expected to announce similar cuts.

Also, Ecobank, in a notice issued on Friday, said the daily cash withdrawal had been reduced from $300 to $100 a day or its equivalent in other foreign currencies when you are abroad.

Ecobank cut down all its cards limit to $100 a day. The standard card from $3000 to $100 a day (on POS/web); Gold Card from $4,000 to $100 a day (on POS/web) and Platinum card from $5,000 to $100 a day (on POS/web) with the cumulative annual spending limit for all cards to $50,000.

The scarcity of the forex has greatly shut the value of dollar last week by about 10 per cent at the parallel market with a dollar going for N400 at the parallel market on Friday evening.