Banks get to open
more branches per year
BDL Circular aims to

expand financial inclusion

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The Central Bank (BDL) will allow banks to increase the number of branches to three per year, up from two currently, provided that at least one of the new branches uses modern technology, according to BDL’s intermediate circular 467.

BDL said it may even allow a bank to exceed the three-branch-a-year ceiling if it finds a good reason for that, especially if the bank plans to open branches outside big cities.

The Central Bank has also issued another intermediate circular, numbered 468, allowing the banks to set up Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) in locations that are far from big cities and from areas where the banks have branches. The number of ATMs should not exceed the overall number of a bank’s branches, including its headquarters.

BDL said its two new decisions aim to enhance financial inclusion in the country.

The opening of new branches and ATMs requires BDL’s prior approval.

‘Big cities’ are defined in the two circulars as Greater Beirut and the capitals of Mohafazas and of cazas. Greater Beirut includes the city and its suburbs, Khaldeh to the south, Baabda to the east, and Nahr El Kalb to the north.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jul 10, 2017