28 Mar 2013

Cyprus banks reopen amid security

11:06 pm on 28 March 2013

Banks have reopened in Cyprus, after an unprecedented 12-day lockdown during the country's continuing financial crisis.

Armed security guards were posted at banks in central Nicosia ahead of the six-hour opening on Wednesday there.

Tellers, who are not housed behind glass security, earlier urged customers not to vent their frustrations on them.

Most banks in Nicosia have between one and three guards posted at their entrances, AFP reports.

Banks were closed nearly two weeks ago to stop a flood of withdrawals while Cyprus negotiated the terms of an international bailout.

Depositors face severe restrictions on withdrawals

Depositors with more than €100,000 could see 40% of their funds converted into bank shares while those with less will be limited as to what funds they can access.

Daily withdrawals are restricted to €300, no cheques can be cashed and most money transfers outside Cyprus are prohibited, the BBC reports.

Cyprus is trying to raise €5.8 billion to qualify for €10 billion in support.