Earlier today, the Greek government issued a nonpaper that provides answers to what they call as ‘FAQs’ relating to the short-term Bank Holiday imposed, starting today, in the country. You can find the original (in Greek) here, and my translated version below.
Answers to frequently asked questions in regards to the implementation of the Act of Legislative Decree “Short Term Bank Holiday.”
Starting on Monday 29 June 2015, the banks will remain closed until Monday 6 of July, according to the relevant Act of Legislative Decree.
Deposits are fully safeguarded.
The payment of pensions is exempt from restrictions on banking transactions of the current [Act of Legislative Decree?]. The managements of credit institutions will announce the way they will be paid.
Electronic transactions within the country will not be affected. That is to say, all transactions using a credit or debit card and with all electronic ways of payment (web banking, phone banking) will be carried out as normal. Prepaid cards can be used up until the limit, which was already in place, before the beginning of the bank holiday.
At the same time, starting on noon of June 29th, ATMs will begin operating with a daily withdrawal limit of 60€ per card, which corresponds to 1.800€ per month. Foreign tourists will be able to make normal withdrawals of cash from the ATMs with their cards, as long as [these cards] have been issued abroad.
A special Approval Committee of Banking Transactions has been set up, by the General Accounting of the State in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Greece, the Hellenic Bank Association, and the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. This Committee will deal with requests for emergency and necessary payments, which cannot be satisfied with the withdrawal limit of cash or through electronic transactions (i.e. payments made abroad for health reasons).
The salaries paid electronically through bank accounts have no problem.
For the information of citizens, an indicative list of answers to frequently asked questions follows.
What does a bank holiday mean?
A bank holiday means that the banks will remain closed for a few days.
When will the banks re-open again?
The banks will re-open again on Tuesday, July 7.
Is there any chance that I will lose my money or my deposits will be “haircut”?
Deposits are safeguarded. The Greek banks are solvent and have passed recently with success the evaluations of the European Central Bank.
While [the bank holiday] lasts, will the ATMs be open?
The ATMs will re-open no later than noon of Monday, and will remain open during the short bank holiday.
How much money will I be able to get from the ATM?
The daily withdrawal limit is 60€ per card.
What happens if there are more than one accounts connected to a card?
Accounts with more connected accounts, the daily withdrawal limit is 60€.
What happens if one account has more [than one] beneficiaries?
In accounts with more beneficiaries and more cards, the daily withdrawal limit is 60€ for each beneficiary’s card. For instance, in an account with two beneficiaries that have one card each, the daily withdrawal limit is 60€ per card, that is 120€ for the account.
What if an account has one beneficiary but more than one connected withdrawal cards?
In such a case, the daily withdrawal limit of 60€ applies to the total number of cards. For instance, if an account has a beneficiary with two connected cards, the daily withdrawal limit is 60€.
Can I make cash withdrawals with my credit card?
Cash withdrawal by credit card can happen until the daily limit (60€). This transaction shall bear interest rate and fees that are set by the Bank that issued the credit card.
Will I be able to overdraw from a current checking account or from a consumer loan account?
Overdraft happens based on the daily limit, as long as it is permitted by the contract with the Bank.
Will I be able to use the credit card or the debit card in order to make purchases?
Credit and debit cards can normally be used for purchases within Greece, up to the threshold agreed in my contract with the Bank.
Will I be able to use my credit and debit card in order to make purchases online?
Credit and debit cards can be used normally for purchases by online shops that have an account in the Bank of Greece.
Will I be able to pay with a pre-paid card?
Payments made with prepaid cards will be made up to the limit they had before the issuance of the Act of Legislative Decree. The prepaid cards cannot be recharged, and no new ones are issued.
Will I be able to transfer money through online/web banking, or via phone (phone banking, etc.)?
Money transfers via the Internet and phone will be made normally, as long as the account towards which the money is sent is in Greece.
Will I be able to make payments via online/web banking, or via phone (phone banking, etc.)?
Payments via the Internet and phone will be made normally and without a limit, as long as the account towards which the payment are transferred is in Greece.
What will apply for permanent payment orders (DEKO accounts, loan, rent)?
The standing payment orders will be executed normally, as long as they concern payments towards accounts in Greece.
Can I make interbank payments?
Interbank payments are being made normally, as long as they concern accounts towards accounts in Greece.
What will happen if I cannot pay my bills / tax-service / loan, etc.?
These payments will be able to be made via web banking, phone banking, or by an ATM. In any case, if those payments cannot be made, there will be no late-payment interest.
If there are delays in payments towards the State or towards banks under the framework of the regulated installments, will there be a loss of the adjustment?
Those payments will be able to be made electronically via web banking, phone banking, or by an ATM. In any case, if these payments cannot be made, there will be no lose of the adjustment.
Am I in danger of losing my insurance contract (car insurance, health insurance)?
These payments will be able to be made via web banking, phone banking, or by an ATM.
How will I be able to send a wire transfer abroad (a wire transfer to university students, money for health reasons)?
For such a case, the Committee of Banking Transactions Approval in the General Accounting Office of the state is responsible.
Will the credit cards of foreign banks be utilized normally?
Credit and debit cards of foreign banks, as long as they have been issued abroad, will be able to be used normally. For credit and debit cards of foreign banks that have been issued in Greece, same thing as with cards of Greek banks applies.
Will pensions be paid normally? Will I be able to get my money?
Pensions will be credited normally to the [bank] accounts. Withdrawals will be able to be made based on the daily withdrawal limit.
Will salaries be paid normally?
Yes, as long as the employer is paying salaries electronically.