Representatives of the Credit and Commerce Bank (BANDEC), in this eastern Cuban province, consider as vertiginous the increase in the number of bank accounts in United States dollars (USD) associated with magnetic cards backed by freely convertible currency (MLC), opened here after the past July 20 released the 10 percent tax on cash deposits made in that currency.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- In the first five days after the end of the tax, in Las Tunas alone, about 2,000 accounts were opened at BANDEC. According to the latest figures available by the aforementioned institution, there are already 12 thousand 706, since in October last year the Cuban Government authorized citizens to open accounts denominated in USD, without the need to make an initial deposit.
Although the majority of the population associates them with stores that sell items in US dollars, Rodolfo Lester León Jiménez, Communication and Marketing specialist at BANDEC Las Tunas, commented that with these it is possible to buy in the other physical or virtual establishments of the Cimex and the Caribe store chains; and they can, he said, function as a savings account.
"They admit, he added, transfers from abroad in addition to US dollars, in Canadian dollars, Mexican pesos, Euros, British pounds, Swiss francs, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish kroner, as well as in Japanese yen." He insisted that when the deposit is in one of the aforementioned currencies, but other than the US dollar, they will be accounted for in USD at the exchange rate of the day.
These transactions, he clarified, can be made using the SWIFT code (BDCRCUHHXXX), which is the alphanumeric series that serves to identify BANDEC when making an international transfer. Likewise, he explained, there is the option of the 19 correspondent foreign banks with which the institution has agreements.
The list is regularly updated and is always available on the BANDEC official website: http://portal.bandec.cu/index.php/bancainternacional_ctrl/corresponsalia
With respect to the other types of accounts associated with RED magnetic cards, but denominated in Cuban pesos (CUP) or Cuban convertible pesos (CUC), León Jiménez noted that accounts in MLC can also be accessed through electronic payment channels, such as Transfermóvil and Kiosco Bandec, and pay for services and other options. Also, make withdrawals at ATMs in CUP and CUC; for all these steps, the exchange rate in force at the exchange houses (CADECA) will be applied, he said.
With regard to withdrawals in USD, the specialist stated that these will be done according to the availability in banks. "It may happen that at the time of the request, the bank does not have the required amount, but the client will be able to withdraw the cash deposited in the account once the bank has the requested balance," he said.
On the other hand, he explained, “those who have accounts with BANDEC and have the electronic channels Transfermóvil and Kiosco Bandec, through the Multibanca card, can open an account in USD without having to go to bank branches. They just have to authenticate with Transfermóvil, go to the configuration module and choose the option to print the USD card, he concluded.