Lebanese banks raise USD withdrawal rate to 3,850 pounds/dollar

imageEconomy15 hours ago (Jun 29, 2020 10:30AM ET)

(C) Reuters.

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese banks raised the exchange rate to 3,850 pounds per dollar for withdrawals from U.S. dollar accounts, bankers said on Monday, as a liquidity crunch erodes the currency’s value.

With dollars growing ever more scarce, the Lebanese pound has plunged since last year by nearly 80% from an official peg of 1,507.5, now only available for vital imports.

Inflation, unemployment and poverty have soared. The government is trying to enlist IMF help to claw out of the crisis, which is seen as the biggest threat to Lebanon’s stability since its 1975-90 civil war.

Banks have since October frozen people out of their savings and blocked transfers abroad. Under an April central bank circular, they now pay depositors with dollar accounts in cash in the local currency at a “market rate” within limits.

At the new withdrawal rate, depositors would still lose around 50% of the value of their savings relative to the informal market, where two currency dealers said the greenback traded at 8,000 pounds on Monday.

Two bankers at two of Lebanon’s biggest lenders said they raised the rate from 3,000 to 3,850. One of them described it as an attempt “to narrow the gap between the bank withdrawal rate and the rate on the parallel market,” which has become a main source of cash.

A banking official said several banks started adopting the 3,850 rate this week and others would soon follow.

There was no official announcement from Lebanon’s banking association.

A fresh, sharp fall in the currency this month has sparked new protests across Lebanese cities.

The central bank has sought to stabilise the rate at exchange houses by setting a unified rate with them each day, with penalties for dealers not adopting it. That announced rate was 3,850/3900 pounds for buying and selling on Monday.

Still, importers say they have found it nearly impossible to secure dollars.

Lebanese banks raise USD withdrawal rate to 3,850 pounds/dollar

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Your daily news source covering investing ideas, market stocks, business, retirement tips from Wall St. to Silicon Valley.

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice.
The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 TheProficientInvestor. All Rights Reserved.

To Top