The Banque du Liban (BDL) requested in a circular that banks in Lebanon comply with the recent law that allows students abroad to transfer U.S. dollars out of Lebanon.
In the circular, issued on Wednesday, the central bank asked domestic banks to make dollar transfers available for these students from their accounts at foreign correspondent banks.
This comes after the Lebanese parliament approved a law in October allowing the parents to transfer up to $10,000 a year to their children studying abroad at the official exchange rate of approximately 1,507 Lebanese pounds for the U.S. dollar, while the rate on the black market is fluctuating at around 8,000 LBP/USD.
However, parents have been complaining that the decision has not been implemented, and so they’ve repeatedly held protests in front of the central bank, demanding that they be allowed to send money to their children in various countries.
Notably, the new circular said that depositors who benefit from the decision should agree to the lifting of bank secrecy on their transactions.
This is in an attempt to prevent people from abusing the exemption and trying to make dollar transfers from several banks simultaneously, the circular indicated.
For context, outgoing transfers have been limited by banks in Lebanon for months in response to the economic meltdown, which saw the country’s foreign currency reserves dwindle and its national currency’s value drop against that of the U.S. dollar.
For this reason, the effects of the crisis have reached Lebanese living outside Lebanon in addition to locals.