Cyprus president says all restrictions on bank transactions may be lifted by early next year

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus’ president says all restrictions on money transfers and withdrawals for all banks that were imposed in the immediate aftermath of the country’s painful financial rescue could be lifted by early next year.

Nicos Anastasiades says that he expects all restrictions on domestic business transactions to be removed by this year’s end.

He said in an interview with private Sigma TV station on Wednesday that remaining limits on transferring money abroad could be eliminated by early 2014, depending on how well the lifting of domestic restrictions goes.

The restrictions were put in place to prevent a bank run after Cyprus’ March bailout agreement with its European partners and the International Monetary Fund.

The deal forced uninsured depositors in the country’s two biggest banks to take major losses on their savings.