The BDL shuts down 20 money dealers
The Central Bank (BDL) shut down 20 currency exchange dealers, last week. Some were voluntary closings, while others faced legal violations.
Six firms were closed on their owners’ requests, “The said six companies decided to shut down their operations because they had no interest or saw it useless to continue their activities in the local market. Therefore, the BDL had to stop their licenses immediately upon their own requests,” said Mahmoud Halawi, Vice Chairman of the Syndicate of Money Changers in Lebanon.
The remaining 14 were closed because they did not comply to Law No. 347, which regulates the currency exchange profession. Their licenses were stopped by the Higher Banking Commission of the BDL.
“The BDL step aims at regulating the financial sector and guaranteeing the sustainability of licensed currency exchange dealers, while maintaining good quality services,” said Halawi.
In another initiative, the BDL had requested, earlier, from currency exchange dealers to raise the minimum capital of their institutions. Halawi said that the recent shut down of the 20 institutions is not related to this BDL circular. “But this capital level issue has not been resolved by all currency exchange dealers yet, and I expect the shut down of other firms facing capital rise problems at a later stage,” he said.
The Syndicate of Money Changers cooperates with the BDL in regulating the exchange sector. “We aim to enhance the presence of licensed firms and limit the role of ones that work illegally. Therefore, we try to bring awareness by organizing seminars about the benefits of the BDL’s circulars and ways of their implementation,” said Halawi.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
Date Posted: Dec 10, 2013