BDL Circular No. 148 Enables Small Bank Depositors to Withdraw their Money Despite Capital Controls

The central bank’s Circular No. 148 published on April 03rd 2020, stipulates that BDL allowed small Lebanese depositors whose bank deposits do not exceed LBP 5M, to perform withdrawal and/or other cash transactions. These also have the option to convert their savings into USD at the “official rate”, but they can only withdraw them in LBP at the “market rate”.

Similarly, all accounts denominated in the US dollar or foreign currency equivalent of US$3k are also granted permission to withdraw their money in Lebanese pounds also at the “market rate” that is to be listed daily by the banks.

As such, these depositors are permitted to cash out their accounts despite the existing capital controls as per the terms outlined above, ensuring that the client approves of the transaction and that the “cashing out” is to be done in one transaction by the bank, after netting all loans (if existent).    

The Circular is valid for 3 months from April 03rd.

Source: BDL

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