Western Union, the world’s largest money transfer company, has suspended its business in Greece this week, further deepening Greece’s economic woes.
The news comes as Greek officials scramble to try and keep the country from financial collapse.
Western Union to shut down in Greece for rest of the week
According to a Reuters report, Western Union announced it was closed for business in Greece on Monday and would remain closed for at least the rest of the week.
As detailed by ValueWalk, following the announcement of the plan for a referendum in Greece, the European Central Bank made a call to not extend additional emergency finance to the Greek banks, after the breakdown of talks on giving heavily indebted Greece the last payment of its international bailout.
Following the ECB announcement and the lack of cash, the Greek Central Bank said all banks would be closed through July 6th. People in Greece indicated that cash machines (ATMs) are still working.
Greece’s stock market and banks were closed Monday.
In its emailed statement to Reuters Monday, Western Union said: “Our inbound business is seeing an upswing and we will continue to monitor this closely as and when our business in Greece is operational once gain”.
The world’s largest money transfer company said it hadn’t witnessed a significant increase in customers moving money out of Greece in the two months to June 27, but had seen a rise in funds being moved into the country.
ATM withdrawals restricted to EUR 60 per day
The crisis-wrecked country reels from an overnight Government decision to shut all banks and the stock market for six business days and impose restrictions on cash machine withdrawals. Of note, Greece ordered its banks to shut down for six days beginning today, in an effort to prevent money from moving out of the country.
Following newspapers splashing photos of long queues outside cash machines and petrol stations, the government acted swiftly to close all banks at least through July 5, the date of the referendum, and shut down all cash machines for 24 hours.
However, ATMs were re-opened this afternoon with a EUR 60 daily withdrawal limit applied. Card-carrying tourists scrambled to get to an ATM before the cash runs dry and will be able to exceed the upper limit – a necessity as many Greek businesses begin to turn down credit cards in favor of cash-only transactions.
However, Greeks will still be able to pay bills online using Web banking, though they will not be able to move money to accounts abroad.