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Major banks stop taking 5,000 ruble notes in ATMs

October 14, 2013, 11:20 UTC+3
Reason cited as growing number of quality counterfeits
1 pages in this article

Last week four major Russian banks stopped taking 5,000-rouble notes in automated teller machines in Moscow and the Moscow Region because of the growing number of counterfeits, the Kommersant wrote. The Central Bank said swindlers often used counterfeit notes that only ATMs took as real ones, for example black-white papers with signs of authenticity. Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry proposes to limit citizens' cash payments beginning January.

Bank of Moscow and Alfa Bank announced on Friday they stopped taking 5,000-brl notes in ATMs. The latter applies the limit only to 1997-model notes. The day before, the measures were taken by two major banks Sberbank (Savings Bank) and VTB-24. All the financial organizations openly stated the limits were imposed due to the growing number of counterfeit notes.

Only Alfa Bank said when the problem would be settled - "in mid-November." It will require additional expenses to update software. Besides, it creates inconveniences for clients who repay large loans. At the same time, in the situation, the decision to impose the limit was necessary, a bank spokesperson said. Sberbank, VTB-24 and Bank of Moscow did not say when ATMs would resume taking 5,000-ruble   notes.

In the second quarter of 2013, Russian banks detected 17,445 counterfeit notes, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, the Vedomosti reported that the Finance Ministry had published a draft law to limit cash consumer payments not connected with entrepreneurship. The ministry proposes to ban cash payments exceeding 600,000 rubles from 2014 and 300,000 from 2016. For violation of the law, those who will receive the money will be fined the sum equal to the payment above the limit.

The measure will not affect everyday life, the Finance Ministry believes. An individual on the average makes no more than ten such expensive purchases during lifetime, a government official noted.

For the present, people prefer cash. According to the Central Bank, cardholders withdrew 9.8 trillion rubles in the first half of this year and paid a total of two trillion rubles with cards for commodities and services. But the gap is narrowing.

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