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Forget about the past: how to exchange currency amid the special operation mode
12 April, 10:59
Economy
Forget about the past: how to exchange currency amid the special operation mode
Photo: prokazan.ru
The innovations of the Central Bank, which have become a reaction to Western sanctions, limit the usual operations with the currency.

The dollars and euros that you have will be torn off with your hands - both banks and individuals. But buying and withdrawing currency over $10,000 is still not an easy test. The "Black Market" was not slow to offer different solutions.

Julia Suntsova

The Central Bank, after the introduction of Western sanctions, banned banks and financial organizations from selling euros and dollars through their cash desks. You can only cash out your own accounts and deposits with a number of restrictions. So far, the ban is set until September 9, 2022. Since March 11, the United States has banned the supply of dollar banknotes to Russia, and the European Union has also announced a ban on the supply of euro cash, making an exception only for diplomats and tourists.

WHAT IS POSSIBLE NOW AND WHAT IS NOT

A citizen (individual) can receive cash dollars at the cash desks of Russian banks by withdrawing them from his foreign currency account. With a number of restrictions. The maximum withdrawal amount from all accounts is $10,000. If the account is opened in another currency, then dollars are still issued within the same established limit of $10,000. Anything over this amount can only be issued in rubles at the official exchange rate of the Central Bank on the day of the transaction. Withdrawal with all these conditions is applicable only to foreign currency accounts opened before March 8, 2022 inclusive. If a currency account was opened after March 8, it is impossible to withdraw currency from it at all - the restriction is valid until September 9, 2022.

Last Friday, the Central Bank announced that it "softened the temporary procedure for operations with cash currency." What is softening?

From April 18, banks are allowed to resume sales of cash currency to the population - but only "new", i.e. the one that arrived at the box office no earlier than April 9. In addition, from April 11, it will be allowed to withdraw euros from foreign currency accounts and deposits that were opened before March 9, 2022. The total limit for currency withdrawal remains the same - no more than $10,000 (its equivalent).

The easing was explained by the fact that the Russians are beginning to exchange the currency back into rubles, and banks have foreign currency cash.

"In accordance with the changes in the temporary procedure of the Central Bank of Russia for handling cash currency, customers who had currency accounts or deposits opened before March 9, 2022 and who have not yet chosen the established limit for receiving cash currency from their accounts, from April 11, 2022 can receive cash from Sberbank not only in dollars, but also in euros.The total withdrawal limit remains - 10 thousand US dollars or their equivalent in euros and is still valid until September 9.

The amount in excess of this limit can be received in rubles", - the press service of Sberbank explained to NI.

"Now the Bank of Russia has allowed to buy foreign currency in banks, but only the one that came to their cash desk from April 9th. In my opinion, most likely, there is not much of such a currency there, and the exchange rate will be unprofitable", - comments senior analyst Valery Polkhovsky.

Tinkov Bank has no offices in Russia, all financial transactions are carried out through the application, including cash withdrawals only through ATMs. Representatives of the bank told NI that it is possible to track the available currency for withdrawal in real time using an interactive map. On it, using different filters, points (ATMs) are indicated - in which there is currency, as well as its number and denominations of banknotes. ATMs are replenished periodically, so their color status changes. A few but!

"You can withdraw currency only within the established limit of $10,000 or its equivalent. You cannot select pounds sterling. You can cash out only those currency accounts that were opened before March 9. Issuance for cards of third-party banks is not available", - commented at Tinkov.

THE MOST FAVORABLE RATE IS AT BROKERS, BUT WITHDRAWAL IS ALSO TEMPORARILY LIMITED

Until recently, by decision of the Central Bank, a commission of 12% was set for brokers in Russia for the purchase of non-cash currency. The other day it was canceled, just like the requirement for banks to limit the difference in the rate of buying and selling currency. Now with the most profitable operations for the purchase and sale of currency - on the stock exchange, experts say. The only downside is that you can't remove it from there.

"Currency can be stored on bank and/or brokerage accounts, but so far WITHOUT cash withdrawals. Unlike exchanges, banks always keep a sensitive difference between the rate for buying and selling a currency. Now, for most banks, this difference is 10-15 rubles due to increased volatility in the market. On the exchange, for individuals and legal entities, the rate for buying and selling currency is the same, there is no spread of several tens of rubles. For example, if the exchange rate of the dollar is 79 rubles, this means that you can buy and sell a dollar at 79 rubles. For operations on the stock exchange, large amounts are not needed, you can trade starting from 1 usd and 1 euro. Also, a wide range of currencies is presented on the exchange, therefore, in addition to dollars and euros, other popular currencies are in demand on the exchange - yuan, pounds, francs. The brokerage account is multi-currency, thanks to which it is possible to store several currencies at the same time", - comments investment expert Olga Borodina.

MONEY TRANSFERS ABROAD

You can transfer a maximum of $5,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) abroad, no more than once a month, even to close relatives. Russian citizens cannot transfer foreign currency to their accounts in foreign banks and brokerage companies, an exception is made for transfers in order to finance their branches and representative offices. There are no restrictions on currency transfers from abroad to accounts in Russia.

It is now allowed to take out of the country no more than $10,000 in cash or the equivalent in any other currency. There are no restrictions on transfers from abroad to Russia.

Russia's disconnection from the Visa, Mastercard, JCB payment systems worsens the situation of fellow citizens abroad, it is impossible to cash out money from your accounts and pay in stores using Russian bank cards. Accept a Western Union transfer - due to the company's departure from Russia - too. The situation is not saved by the advertised international system UnionPay. There is no evidence that UnionPay cards issued by Russian banks work abroad. Polls of people say the opposite: withdrawing cash - it doesn't work, paying online - it doesn't work. In addition, it is almost impossible to book flights and accommodation abroad using Russian bank cards.

BLACK MARKET CURRENCY

As it always happens in the conditions of severe restrictions on the best-selling goods, the shadow business in the currency was not slow to appear.

Despite the established liability for illegal currency transactions, multiple intermediaries, closed chats, groups, social media bots, and currency tourism organizers already offer their services.

"It is now possible to sell dollars and euros to banks - they will tear them off with their hands, however, only at the official established rate, which is much lower than the purchase rate. You can also sell to private individuals who will offer a price higher than the bank price - and here there is a reserve for trade. But now you can buy a cash dollar and euro only from private individuals, this is the so-called "black market" - the same private individuals who managed to stock up on foreign currency. Courses they establish who is in what much. As a rule, now this exchange rate is increased by at least 3-10 rubles. The safest option, in my opinion, is to borrow from friends and acquaintances, everything, of course, depends on the amount you need and the degree of trust that has developed between you", - ”Ni” comments independent financial consultant Marianna Maksimova.

WHAT SERVICES DID THE BLACK MARKET

1. Particularly valuable are the so-called. people and organizations are cosmopolitan. For example, a person has both an account in a European bank in foreign currency and an account in a Russian bank in rubles. So, he accepts amounts on one account and makes transfers or pays for services from another account along the ordered route. The intermediary earns on the agreed commission.

2. Social media speculators simply arrange to meet at the exact time in the exact place and sell the currency. Prices are much higher than the established rate of the Central Bank. For example, according to the latest data, the dollar on the black market reached 250 rubles, the euro up to 300. With the introduction of criminal liability for illegal currency transactions, the market will not disappear, but will switch to a secret mode of functioning, like a drug one: the final price of the transaction will include the costs of couriers or pawnbrokers.

Judging by the chats in the cities, this practice already exists. In chatbots, the transaction is arranged as follows: the customer receives the details for transferring the ruble equivalent and prescribes the method and place of receiving the currency. Competing performers are ready to deliver banknotes even to airports or deliver them to other regions.

3. Currency tourism. The most popular destinations for foreign exchange tourism are Georgia and Armenia. Belarus, "friendly" countries of the Middle East and Asia. The courses are not particularly friendly, but for many consumers this is the only safe way.

Another option is completely unexpected: let's call it,

4. "dollar from Eastern Ukraine". A number of experts say that buying currency through this channel is the most profitable. "Refugees from Ukraine could not or did not have time to take things, but they carry currency with them. Their exchange rate is much more profitable than for all other options," the NI source shared.

“They sell currency “by hand” - now there are a lot of people who do this. There are a lot of ads on social networks (including those not prohibited in the Russian Federation). "You won't be able to get your money back, filing a police report means signing a confession, since non-bank transactions with currency are illegal. Those who sell currency face not only a fine, but also criminal liability", - says senior analyst Valery Polkhovsky.

The editors of "NI" strongly advises against using the services of the "black market", just like providing them. According to Art. 15.25 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, for citizens and individual entrepreneurs for illegal currency transactions, a fine is set in the amount of 75% to 100% of the amount of transactions. If the actions are considered as falling under Art. 172 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (illegal banking) - you face up to 7 years in prison.