By Libya Herald staff.
London, 3 December 2014:
Libya’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) announced yesterday that it will now be imposing an annual . . .[restrict]spending limit of LD 15,000 and a daily cash withdrawal limit of LD 500 on its Tourist Visa Debit Cards.
The NCB said that this decision is based upon instructions from the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and Visa Card.
In September, the privately-owned Bank of Commerce and Development was forced to stop its customers from making cash withdrawals abroad using its Visa debit cards.
That move was also believed to be in response to some of its customers misusing the debit card in order to transfer foreign exchange out of Libya for commercial as opposed to for personal use.
The phenomena of some Libyan Visa debit card holders using their cards to trade in foreign currency comes as a result of the Central Bank of Libya controlling the amount of hard currency sold in Libya and not allowing the Libyan Dinar exchange rate to float – a legacy from the Qaddafi era command-economy era.
The high demand for and low supply of foreign currency has caused a thriving foreign currency black market in the country.
It will be noted that the NCB has been engaged in a major public relations campaign in Libya over the past two years including a major roadside advertising billboards campaign. The NCB is a state-owned bank and has a reputation for poor customer service, long queues and long waiting times at its branches. [/restrict]