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Russians Rush To Buy Up Cash Currency

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Russians Rush To Buy Up Cash Currency

Many banks are experiencing a shortage.

The cash desks of many Russian banks are facing a shortage of foreign currency after the United States imposed sanctions on the Moscow Exchange, which halted trading in dollars and euros.

A correspondent for a target="_blank" href=https://www.moscowtimes.ru/2024/06/13/vse-razobrali-rossiyane-brosilis-skupat-nalichnuyu-valyutu-posle-sanktsii-na-mosbirzhu-a133885>The Moscow Times visited the branches of several large banks in Moscow this morning, but there were no dollars in any of them. “They’ve all been sold out yesterday,” said a teller at an Avangard bank branch. According to him, at 10 am, the only bank note left in the cash desk was an old-style $100 note, and there were no other dollars or euros. A similar situation was at an Alfa-Bank branch located nearby: there were no dollars or euros in the cash desk at all — they were sold out, and they had to be ordered, the teller explained. Alfa-Bank was ready to buy dollars at 87 rubles in the morning and sell them at 97.

There were no dollars or euros in cash in 15 Sberbank branches in different areas of Moscow this morning. The cashiers explained the absence by increased demand. “Well, you've heard the news, you should understand,” said an employee of one of the branches. Sberbank had perhaps the lowest selling rate for cash currency in the morning — less than 92.9 rubles per dollar (the buying rate was 83 rubles), so people were constantly coming into the branch to buy currency — a correspondent for The Moscow Times counted five people who wanted to do so in the five minutes he spent in the branch, but the employees explained to them that “everything had already been sold out”. At the same time, Sberbank's press service reported at about 11:00 Moscow time that it did not see an increased demand for currency in the bank's branches: “The demand for currency in Sberbank branches is at the level of standard average daily values, that is, low. We do not see an increased interest in currency from our clients.” After the start of the war, Russia experienced an acute shortage of cash currency. People rushed to withdraw their currency savings, but the US and EU banned the import of cash dollars and euros into Russia. The Central Bank had to introduce restrictions: no more than $10,000 could be withdrawn from accounts (the rest in rubles), and the sale of cash currency was prohibited. Then the Central Bank made a concession, allowing banks to sell people cash currency that they had previously bought from other citizens. Every six months, the Central Bank extends these restrictions.

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