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European Central Bank issues warning on Spain’s cash limit

The European Central Bank has issued a warning on Spain’s current cash limit.

Spain has set a limit on the amount of cash that can be used to make payments, a restriction that aims to stop tax evasion. The limit used to be 2,500 euros, but since last year the limit has been lowered to 1,000 euros, which is why consumers who wish to pay for a purchase above 1,000 euros, in any establishment, must pay by card or bank transfer.

However, as stated by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), the European Central Bank does not agree with this limit and has therefore drawn up a report in which it is said:

  • The limit of 1,000 euros is disproportionate.
  • This limitation will have negative effects on the legal tender of euro banknotes.
  • By drastically reducing the ability of payers to use euros, citizens’ freedom to choose the means of payment is also reduced.
  • The penalty regime provided for by law is excessive: the fine of 25% of the amount paid is, according to the European Central Bank, too high.

In addition to this, payment in cash is of great importance, especially for certain social groups, which is why the European Central Bank also makes several points in this regard, as stated by the OCU: In addition to this, payment in cash is of great importance, especially for certain social groups, which is why the European Central Bank also makes several points in this regard, as stated by the OCU:

  • Cash is widely accepted.
  • It is fast and allows transactions to be settled instantly.
  • It is an always available option, as it does not require operational technical infrastructure and related investments, issues that must be taken into account in situations such as power outages or failures of payment systems electronic.
  • It makes it easier for payers to control their own spending.
  • It is the only means of payment that does not imply the legal possibility of charging a fee for its use.
  • Cash payment is not subject to daily or weekly payment limits set by banks.

Several factors explain why this limitation of cash payments encourages financial exclusion: “Cash is essential for elderly users, migrants, people with disabilities, socially vulnerable citizens and anyone with limited access to digital services”, argue -they.


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