Cyprus Lifts Most Capital Controls

FILE - A man exits from a branch of Bank of Cyprus in capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA — Cyprus has reached another milestone in getting rid of capital controls it put in place after being bailed out last year, saying all domestic controls have been lifted except the opening of new bank accounts.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement that a prohibition on cashing checks as well as caps on domestic transactions and payments that don’t require central bank vetting have now been removed.

However, restrictions on unfettered money transfers abroad remain in place. Authorities said they hope to lift them by year’s end.

Authorities imposed restrictions to prevent a run after a 10 billion-euro ($13.86 billion) rescue Cyprus agreed with international creditors in March last year forced the seizure of uninsured deposits in its two largest lenders, crushing confidence in the banking sector.