Many banks across Lebanon are imposing a new, lower monthly Lebanese pound withdrawal limit.
The decision, made individually by certain banks, came after a circular by the central bank, which set new terms that would practically allow each bank to withdraw only as many pounds as its account size in the BDL allows.
Consequently, banks across Lebanon are now forced to lower the ceiling of allowed monthly pound withdrawals for depositors, in accordance with their respective monthly capacity to withdraw from the central bank, and many have already done so.
It’s noteworthy that, in response to the panic that followed the news of the new measure began to spread in Lebanon, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh denied in a statement that his circular had called on banks to lower the limit of monthly pound withdrawals for their customers.
Nonetheless, as experts have pointed out, forcing the commercial banks to withdraw according to the sizes of their accounts in the BDL will inevitably have an effect on the depositors at these banks.
This is especially true considering that the current pound accounts of banks are mostly insufficient to meet the daily demands of their depositors, particularly since depositors with dollar accounts are allowed to withdraw their “lollars” in Lebanese pounds at the exchange rate of 3,900 LBP/USD.
However, since each bank has a different asset size, the pound cash withdrawal limit will differ from bank to bank, and some might not even lower the monthly limit at all if their assets in the BDL are sufficient to avoid such a measure.