The Central Bank of Egypt has denied reports that it banned Egyptians from using their EGP account debit cards abroad, central bank governor Tarek Amer said Friday according to Al-Ahram newspaper.
The central bank merely ordered measures to control and regulate the use of debit cards, in order to stop their use for illegal currency trading purposes, Amer said.
Amer's statements come two days after a central bank official reportedly told Reuters that banks were ordered to stop clients from using their EGP account debit cards abroad in order to fight a foreign currency shortage.
Banks have the right to impose limits on using EGP account debit cards abroad, Amer said, adding that some clients use their debit cards to withdraw large amounts of dollars [to exchange on the black market] rather than to use them for tourism, travel or shopping purposes.
Banks in Egypt have set a daily limit for dollar cash withdrawal using cards to around EGP 1,000 per day.
The official exchange rate for the dollar has hovered around EGP 8.8 for three months, but the greenback sells at up to EGP 11 on the black market.