Cash payments over 5,000 Euro to be banned

Several of Saturday morning’s newspapers report that the legal limit for payments in cash is to be reduced from 15,000 to 5,000 Euro. The new measures are intended to help in the battle against money laundering. The Federal Secretary of State responsible for tackling fraud John Crombez (Flemish socialist) told journalists that “There is evidence that payment by bank transfer reduces the risk of fraud”.

Within the next few years, the maximum limit for cash payments will be further reduced. Mr Crombez hopes that by the end of the current legislature the limit will stand at 3,000 Euro.

The government is to adopt a phased approach to reducing the limit, as it wants to ensure that it will be respected.

"As far as I’m concerned, if we are successful in ensuring the limit is respected, it can be reduced still further in the future, as has been the case in some other countries.”

Concrete plans for a control mechanism are being discussed within the federal cabinet. The measures currently only apply to goods. Services such as those offered by the liberal professions like solicitors are currently exempt.

Mr Crombez is considering extending the limit to cover services as well.