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Transferring money from Ecuador bank back to a US bank

What is now the fee for transferring funds (for medical reasons) from an Ecuadorian bank to a US bank and is there a dollar limit? Used to be (as I recall) 2% fee and no reasonable limit but I heard now 5% and limited. And can it be done from the US or must one be present in the Ecuadorian bank?

While I am at it, is there a daily or other cash withdrawal limit? We once took $5000 cash back to the US to avoid the fee with no problem but someone said there is now a $1,000 cash withdrawal daily limit.

I am also a bit concerned that the governmental income shortfall will threaten dollar accounts.

smitty88 :

is there a daily or other cash withdrawal limit?... someone said there is now a $1,000 cash withdrawal daily limit.

If you’re talking about ATM withdrawals in Ecuador, the daily withdrawal limit depends on:

1.  The limit per withdrawal on a specific ATM machine.

2.  The maximum number of withdrawals that an ATM’s bank permits on a given day.

3.  The maximum total amount a bank allows to be withdrawn by a bank-card customer on a given day regardless of the number of withdrawals.

Example:  You go to the Megamaxi-Six ATM station on the upper level outside the main Megamaxi entrances.  There are two ATM’s, each installed by a different EC bank.

Let’s say the maximum withdrawal amount on each ATM is $300 and two withdrawals per machine are permitted on a given day.  You could then withdraw $600 per ATM machine for a total of $1,200.

cccmedia

smitty88 :

What is now the fee for transferring funds (for medical reasons) from an Ecuadorian bank to a US bank and is there a dollar limit? Used to be (as I recall) 2% fee and no reasonable limit but I heard now 5% and limited. And can it be done from the US or must one be present in the Ecuadorian bank?

I have never heard of a medical exclusion to the longstanding five percent tax on wiring money out of Ecuador.

If the money is needed for valid medical reasons, you should be able to transfer out as much as you want .. although the amount you can transfer on a specific day may be limited to a certain maximum on a bank-by-bank basis.

Whether or not you have to be present in Ecuador to initiate the bank transfer may also depend on your specific bank’s policy.

cccmedia in Quito

smitty88 :

We once took $5000 cash back to the US to avoid the fee....

Accepting that much cash at an Ecuadorian bank and walking outside with the money puts you at risk as a target.  Temporarily storing it in a hotel in EC or carrying it en route to some distant place does the same.

Thieves on motorcycles have historically been tipped off by confederates stationed inside an EC bank when a large cash withdrawal is made, and the recipient of the cash has then been ripped off by the moto boys outside the bank.  There was a controversial thread on expat.com last year titled “Robbed in Broad Daylight Outside a Quito Bank.”  It has some good security advice and tips.

I’d bite the bullet:  wire the funds .. and thus maintain 95 percent control of your money and up to 100 percent of your peace of mind.

cccmedia in Quito

Smitty wrote:

"I am also a bit concerned that the governmental income shortfall will threaten dollar accounts.”

----------

What’s this about, Smitty?  The concept that the government of Ecuador may start raiding or confiscating Expat bank accounts?

You may be reading too many emails from the Sovereign Society, the International Man or other unfounded speculation being spammed around the Internet.

cccmedia in Quito

Did you read my questions? I said FROM A BANK, not from an ATM. Someone else sent me an a partial answer, saying that:
At least from our bank (Banco Internacional), the fees are as following:
to a $1000 = $55.48
to $5000 = $74.32
to 10000 = $95.40
Above = $112.00

Banks have different fees though, so these ones may vary depending on the bank.

I was responding in that instance to Smitty's question in paragraph 2 of his first post, which did not specify a bank building as opposed to an ATM.

Taking money from an ATM in Ecuador is often the same as taking money from an Ecuadorian bank.  At my bank, Banco Guayaquil, there is an ATM at the entrance to the bank building on Garcia Moreno in Quito.  When I go there, I have the choice of withdrawing money from the ATM or a teller inside.  Both ways involve withdrawing money from the bank.

Limits on ATM withdrawals from EC bank accounts may often be more restrictive compared to withdrawing cash from U.S.-based banks at Ecuador ATM’s.

I stand by my security recommendation that Expats not withdraw amounts of cash totaling $5,000 or more from an Ecuadorian bank.

When I had my kitchen countertops redone as Corian tops last year, I met a representative of the vendor at my branch of Banco Guayaquil and had the payment directly transferred from my account to the vendor’s bank account.  In that way, I avoided directly handling cash in that transaction and still qualified for an eight percent ‘cash' discount.

cccmedia in Quito

***

As it happens a friend in the 90s had quarter of a million US dollars in a major Ecuadorian bank. The bank closed up and most of its depositors lost everything. My friend was lucky because his funds had been legitimately transferred from a Panamanian bank in US dollars so, after a five year legal struggle he, and a handful of others in similar cases were able to get their principal back (but no interest). Everyone else lost all - permanently. Note also that the numbers I got from the bank do NOT reflect a standard 5%, or not even 5% at all. ****

1998–99 Ecuador banking crisis (One of them)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 1998–99 Ecuador banking crisis resulted in about 70% of the country's financial institutions closing. In 1999, economic activity decreased by 7–8% and the currency depreciated by 195%.[clarification needed][1] Per-capita income in US dollar terms plummeted by 32% during the year.[1] Unemployment increased from 9% to 17% and underemployment increased from 49% to 55%.[1] 1.6 billion dollars of Government of Ecuador funds were used to bail out banks that failed as a result of corrupt practices and mismanagement.[1] The money supply increased at an annual rate of 170% to pay back depositors of failed banks.[1] In March 1999, the government froze bank deposits to avoid hyperinflation.[1] By the end of 1999, President Mahuad's approval rating had dropped to 9%.[1] Unresolved economic, financial and political problems led to massive protests that resulted in his departure from office on January 22, 2000.[1]

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