Under the auspices of “protecting clients from criminal activity,” JPMorgan Chase has decided to impose withdrawal limits on certain ATM transactions. As WSJ reports, following the bank’s ATM modification to enable $100-bills to be dispensed with no limit, some customers started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time. This apparent bank run has prompted Jamie Dimon to cap ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for non-customers.
Most large U.S. banks, including Chase, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. have been rolling out new ATMs, sometimes known as eATMs, which perform more services akin to tellers. That includes allowing customers to withdraw different dollar denominations than the usual $20, typically ranging from $1 to $100.
The efforts run counter to recent calls to phase out large bills such as the $100 bill or the €500 note ($569) to discourage corruption while putting up hurdles for tax evaders, terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.
The Wall Street Journal reported in February that the European Central Bank was considering eliminating its highest paper currency denomination, the €500 note. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers also has called for an agreement by monetary authorities to stop issuing notes worth more than $50 or $100.
This move appears to have backfired and created a ‘run’ of sorts on Chase…
A funny thing happened as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. modified its ATMs to dispense hundred-dollar bills with no limit: Some customers started pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time.
While it was changing to newer ATM technology, J.P. Morgan found that some customers of banks in countries such asRussia and Ukraine had used Chase ATMs to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars in a single day, people familiar with the situation said. Chase had instances of people withdrawing $20,000 in one transaction, they added.
And, in what appears to the start of a war on cash in America, The Wall Street Journal reports, the bank is cracking down, capping ATM withdrawals at $1,000 per card daily for noncustomers.
The bank run by Chairman and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said there doesn’t appear to be fraud involved. But in part due to heightened regulatory scrutiny, banks are paying more attention to large cash transfers that could be a sign of money laundering or other types of shady activity.
The move by the largest bank in the country doesn’t affect J.P. Morgan Chase’s own customers, whose maximum daily withdrawals are set depending on the client’s account type.
J.P. Morgan Chase’s change last month affects roughly 18,000 automated teller machines nationwide and followed an interim step earlier this year limiting noncustomer cash removals at $1,000 per transaction. The earlier move was made as a temporary fix while the bank could make software changes to roll out the more stringent daily limit, said bank spokeswoman Patricia Wexler.
What the story is about is the nebulous world of offshore tax evasion and tax havens, which based on data from the World Bank, IMF, UN, and central banks, hide between $21 and $32 trillion, where registered incorporation agents and law firms in small Caribbean countries (and not so small US states) make the laundering of money and the “disappearance” of the super wealthy, into untracable numbers hidden behind shell companies, possible.
So, there is more than the total US GDP being laundered in offshore tax havens, but yes, let’s eliminate the $100 bill to cut down on corruption and money laundering.
Of course, we are sure this is just another ‘storm in a teacup’ as why should anyone question a fine upstanding and trustworthy bank withholding people’s money when they are assuredly tax evaders, terrorists, drug dealers and human traffickers.