Following its basic circular number 145 (basic decision No: 13215) dated April 3rd, 2020, addressed to small depositors, the Lebanese central bank (the “BDL”) issued on April 21st, 2020 basic circular number 151 (basic decision No: 13221) (the “Circular”) enacting an exceptional framework that enables depositors to withdraw Lebanese Pounds from their foreign currency accounts at the current market rate, for a period of six months only, as follows:
The Circular is addressed to depositors who do not benefit from the provisions of the Circular number 13215, it allows them to withdraw cash from their foreign currency account, in Lebanese Pound at the then market exchange rate. The foregoing shall remain subject to the limits and procedures set by each bank who shall also determine the market exchange rate they adopt, on a daily basis.
The US Dollars resulting from such operations, would be sold by the relevant banks to the BDL at the same market exchange rate.
All other foreign exchange operations shall remain subject to the official BDL exchange rate.
Note: The “limits and procedures set by the bank”, referred to in this circular, are similar to those imposed by banks on the cash withdrawal of US Dollars. Lebanese banks will therefore have significant flexibility in the application of this circular.
Click here to download the full circular.