The Banque du Liban has released a noteworthy number of statements and circulars in the past few months due to the constant, rapid change that Lebanon’s financial and banking sectors have been going through.
However, a statement that the central bank allegedly released in the past few days has caught the attention of the Lebanese for a concerning decision that it entailed under “Resolution 153.”
Claim: The Banque du Liban adopted “Resolution 153” which, among other things, cancels all bank transfer services (Intra transfer) inside Lebanon.
Verdict: The claim is invalid, a source in the central bank confirmed to MTV.
Over the past few days, Lebanese social media users, especially on Whatsapp, have been sharing the following statement, falsely attributed to Lebanon’s central bank:
“The Banque du Liban adopted Resolution 153, which includes the following items:
Withdrawing deposits in dollars for individual accounts below $10,000 on a fixed exchange rate with banks, which is only 4,000 Lebanese pounds.
Canceling all bank transfer services known as (Intra transfer) inside Lebanon and allowing only exceptions for external transfers in the event of the required documents.
The period of the circular is 3 months, and its implementation will start from the first of July 2020.”
This copypasta caused concern regarding the state of bank transfer services in the country while promoting the false information that depositors who have less than $10,000 in their bank accounts can withdraw it at the exchange rate of 4,000 per $1.
With that said, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh issued an unrelated statement on Friday, June 26th, announcing the launch of the “Sayrafa” app, which was announced earlier this month, that will be used by money changers to record transactions.
In the statement, Salameh mentioned that “the official exchange rate in banks remains 1,515 Lebanese pounds against the dollar,” noting that this rate is unconnected to that of the black market, which is around 3,850-3,900 today.