The capital control measures that the banks have taken since October 2019 have only become tighter with most major banks opting to halve their dollar withdrawal limits.
Three major banks contacted by AFP confirmed that they will be capping their monthly withdrawal rate at $600 a month.
Bank Audi, for example, allowed its customers $300 every 15 days instead of every week. However, users with over $100,000 will receive $500, and those with $1 million will be allowed $1,000.
The new government is expected to announce a new rescue plan for the economy this week. The new plan is said to include measures such as reducing interest rates on loans.
Experts and demonstrators say that having to withdraw their money based on the plummeting Lebanese currency has amounted to what is essentially a de-facto “haircut.”
The capital control measures that the banks have been taking are considered illegal according to Article 670 of the Lebanese Penal Code which states:
“A suspect – be it a business or an individual – who withholds, disperses, embezzles, or misappropriates a victim’s deposit faces imprisonment of between two months to two years and a minimum fine of 50,000 Lebanese pounds.”
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