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Uruguayan banks to stop accepting cash deposits and close suspicious accounts

Tuesday, 11 February, 2014

Uruguayan authorities have started to implement more effective controls over cash transactions. Banks now have the power to close suspicious accounts and to refuse cash deposits if supporting documentation is not produced.

Uruguayan banks have long been used by Argentine taxpayers to deposit savings. The move is in line with the tax information exchange agreement signed between Argentina and Uruguay in 2012, which brought an end to Uruguayan bank secrecy and eliminated double taxation between the two countries. According to Info BAE, any transaction that cannot be justified with documents supporting the origin of the money or that is suspected of fraud could lead to closure of the bank account.

The newspaper El Cronista Comercial adds that Uruguayan banks will, in certain circumstances, accept cash deposits of up to USD5,000. However, cash withdrawals of large amounts without supporting justification could result in the closure of the account.

Mariano Sardans, executive director of the Uruguayan wealth management firm FDI, said that contrary to what is commonly believed in Argentina, ‘it is not possible to deposit cash [in Uruguay], whether with banks or the accounts of brokerage firms or exchange offices, without proper justification and documentation.’

Sardans added that every Argentine taxpayer depositing money in banks in Uruguay must prove that the proceeds come from legal activities. Customers who can prove this can continue to hold accounts as normal.

To avoid problems it is advised that taxpayers seek professional advice before making deposits in Uruguayan banks.