Lebanon Businessnews News

Deposits of less than $3,000
withdrawn at market rate
To protect smallest depositors
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Depositors whose total bank accounts don’t exceed LL5 million or $3,000 (or the equivalent in other foreign currencies) are allowed to withdraw the entire amount in cash, according to a new circular issued by the Central Bank (BDL).

Depositors must withdraw the entire amount from which will be deducted any debt they owe to the bank.

Deposits in foreign currencies will be paid in lira at the market rate.

This exceptional decision is part of the government’s policy to protect small depositors and will be applied for three months.

In case of lira deposits, the bank must first convert the withdrawn amount into dollars at the rate set by BDL for its dealings with banks. The dollar amount resulting from this operation will be re-converted into liras at the exchange rate prevalent on the market at the time of the customer’s withdrawal request.

The banks are required to announce the market rate they are using in their operations on a daily basis.

There are nearly 1.73 million deposit accounts of less than LL5 million which represent 62 percent of the total number of deposit accounts in commercial banks as at the end of 2019, according to a study published by Blominvest. The total value of accounts of less than LL5 million is $956 million out of $154.7 billion in total deposits at the end of last year.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Apr 03, 2020