Lebanon Businessnews News

Depositors allowed to
withdraw $150 per month
From foreign currency accounts opened since onset of crisis
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Depositors can withdraw up to $150 per month from their foreign currency accounts opened after the end of October 2019, according to a new circular issued by the Central Bank (BDL).

For this purpose, a sum worth up to $4,350 must be transferred from the depositor’s foreign currency accounts (as on June 30, 2023) to a special subaccount.

The monthly amount could be withdrawn as cash, transferred abroad or deposited in a fresh dollar account (cash account) and the banks are not allowed to charge any fees on these transactions. The amounts that a depositor can withdraw from different banks must not exceed $1,800 per year.

Natural persons, whether residents or not, can benefit from this decision on the credit balances of their foreign currency accounts with the exception of fresh dollar accounts. They can also benefit on their cash collateral, extended after the end of October 2019, once it is redeemed.

Those involved in trading in checks after the end of October 2019 cannot benefit from this decision as well as those who had transferred abroad more than $500,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies between July 1, 2017 and August 27, 2020 and had not returned 15 percent of that amount and deposited it in a special account as stipulated in a BDL circular issued in 2020.

People who had transferred an amount equivalent to $300,000 or more after the end of October 2019, from their lira accounts into their foreign currency accounts, with the exception of end-of-service indemnities, cannot benefit from this decision as well those who had settled foreign currency loans of the same amount in lira or converted the loans into liras.

Moreover, people who have profited from buying $75, 000 or more according to the exchange rate of the Sayrafa platform cannot benefit from this decision.

Those who are not eligible for the new decision also include people withdrawing or who have withdrawn their foreign currency deposits from accounts opened before the end of October 2019 as specified by BDL’s Basic Circular 158.

The liquidity to be used for the gradual withdrawal of these deposits will be provided on a fifty-fifty basis by the banks and BDL (from the banks’ own mandatory placements in foreign currencies with the Central Bank).
Date Posted: Feb 05, 2024
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