Male’, Maldives – The Maldives Monetary Authority has informed Maldivian banks to limit cash withdrawals to MVR 200,000.
MMA has said that this step was taken to encourage digital and electronic transactions, and to lower amounts of hard cash. Digital financial options are also much safer than cash, which usually requires an in person exchange that brings in some amount of risk, especially during a pandemic
This is the first time MMA has imposed such a policy on banks, who were allowed to set cash withdrawal limits as they wished. Many banks, such as the Bank of Maldives have introduced multiple limitations on USD withdrawals and foreign transfers.
The Authority has said that banks must follow this policy starting from the 31st of December 2020.
The MMA has been taken various precautionary measures in managing the flow of foreign currency in the country as the tourism sector which main income source of foreign income has been crippled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the USD rates had gone up to MVR 20 per USD in the black market as the USD supply dropped this year, MMA had given reassurance that there was enough USD in reserves for essential needs.
MMA has also ceased giving out money exchange licences back in October, stating that they had already given out the license to a number of businesses compared to the population of the country and that from October 15 onward they would not give out the licence to additional parties until further notice. According to the statistics by the Monetary Authority, there are 359 registered money changers in Maldives.