Chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon Salim Sfeir

The Association of Banks responded to Banque du Liban’s decision to pay $400 to depositors, and stressed that any “cash withdrawals can only be provided by reducing the mandatory reserve rate required on bank deposits with the Central Bank.”

the chairman of the association Salim Sfeir pointed out that the , “Banks are unable to provide any cash in foreign currency, no matter how low its value.”

This development comes after Lebanon’s central bank on Friday said that depositors holding accounts active as of October 2019 would have access restored to $400 a month and its equivalent in Lebanese pounds. 

As cash runs short at Lebanon’s banks, so has the patience of depositors. Hit by restrictions on withdrawals, some are taking extreme steps, occupying branches and in one case taking an employee hostage, to squeeze what they can from their accounts.

The Central Bank chief also announced that that the bank will sell US dollars to the money changers at the rate of 12,000 LL per US dollar on condition that the changers sell it at the rate of 12120 LL per US dollar .

Salameh did not specify at what exchange rater the depositors will receive the additional $ 400 they will be able to withdraw in pounds 

The details regulating the decision, which will take effect from July 1, will be issued later, the bank said in a statement.

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