The Housing and Development Bank (HDB) has suspended the cards of some of its clients that the bank has deemed manipulative, as their cards have been used for commercial rather than personal purposes, according to chairperson Fathy El-Sebai.
He explained that the bank has also closed the accounts of these clients and prevented them from using HDB bankcards with the shops that colluded with the customers abroad.
“Banks have been monitoring the transactions of its customers through the use of credit and debit cards. Whenever any irregular activity is noticed, we block the cards immediately. The point is to rationalise the use of US dollars abroad due to the currency exchange crisis in Egypt,” El-Sebai said.
In terms of clients who use their cards for personal purposes, the bank grants them the right to use their cards for purchases worth $3,000 per month, and $1,000 for cash withdrawals.
The HDB has issued about 150,000 debit cards and 5,000 credit cards.
The US dollar crisis in Egypt can only be solved by increasing the state’s resources and decreasing expenses in foreign currencies, he added.
“We, as banks, try as much as possible to lessen the severity of the crisis. We make great efforts in this regard especially in terms of attracting transfers from Egyptians working abroad. However, the existence of two dollar prices in the formal and informal markets limits our efforts greatly,” he added.