Too many bills: Banks charge fees to businesses for receiving low-denomination cash deposits

The Argentine economy handles a lot of cash.

The permanent devaluation of the peso due to rising inflation has practical aspects, such as the growing mass of money in circulation due to the need for more and more bills to carry out the same transactions. On the other hand, an extremely precarious economy like Argentina has a very high level of informal activity that necessarily has to be paid in cash.

For this reason, the communication from Banco Galicia to its clients aroused a stir on social networks, in which it was stated that as of July 17, all cash deposits that are carried out “will have a additional commission of 5% if the amount in small denominations (bills equal to or less than $200) exceeds 15% of the total deposited”.

“This new commission will be applied to that amount, that amount in low denomination that exceeds 15%,” they added from the entity.

For example, if a customer makes a deposit of 1,000 pesosand uses for it a $500 bill and five of $100half of that deposit, 50% is made with banknotes low denominationaccording to the concept of this bank, which includes in this category any banknote that is not 500 or 1,000 pesos.

In this case, since the deposit is $1,000, those $500 in 100 bills exceed the 15% admitted without commission ($150). “Then an additional commission of 5% will be applied on the surplus. In this case it would be 5% of $350, that is, you will be will charge an additional $17.50″, explained the bank in question.

The provisions of the Central Bank establish that individuals and SMEs cannot be charged commissions for cash deposits, but in the case of companies is not regulated and, therefore, it is the commercial policy of each bank to set them in the latter case. Likewise, these provisions must be communicated by the entities to their clients with a term of 60 days in advance.

From Galicia they clarified that this commission is not charged to companies that have the “Mipyme Certificate” nor to large companies included in the “Integrated Collection” service. Another bank that charges a commission of this type is Santander, in cases where large clients delegate the handling of the transfer and the security of the cash to it.

Supermarkets and department stores offer discounts for card payments, to avoid the higher costs of cash

A source from the financial system explained to Infobae that “the norm prohibits the commission from being charged to the deposits of individuals and SMEs”, but not to large companies. “That is why supermarkets and others carry out card promotions, because the cash it’s expensive for them,” he said.

“What is striking is that no person -or is it exceptional- makes a deposit of that magnitude. you have to be in one black economy or a business or kiosk associated with a legal account”, they referred.

From a private entity they indicated to Infobae that “it can happen by consensus in cases of large companies that transfer the cost of logistics to you”, since there are high costs linked to cash handling, custody and storage. “This is all pproduct of the large amount of low-denomination currency”, they added.

The truth is that in the Argentine economy there is an infinity of circulating currency of practically “zero” value. Coins with a denomination of less than one peso have almost no use and their value is greater due to the resale of the metal that they are composed of than due to their face value. And the 5 peso bills went out of circulation two years ago, but the face-to-face closure of the banks during the confinement due to the pandemic meant that they could not be changed and removed from the street normally.


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