By Libya Herald reporter.
Malta, 4 September 2015:
The Central Bank . . .[restrict]of Libya (CBL) has officially revealed the new regulations (dated 1 September) for the issuing of debit cards in Libya by local banks.
Most of the regulation published Thursday is an amendment of the old regulations with the new proviso of the need for debit card holders to have a National ID Number and hold an account at the issuing bank.
The proviso of the National ID Number applies to newly issued cards as well as retrospectively to existing cards. Existing cards are not to be topped up by banks without the provision of the National ID Number.
The CBL stresses that debit cards are also intended for individual private use – and not for commercial use.
The new regulations were previously leaked on social media and inadvertently revealed and confirmed by Aman bank when on 2 September it requested all its card holders to furnish a National ID Number as a precondition to unblocking their debit cards.
It will be recalled that the CBL had blocked all debit cards in Libya at the end of August after a run on hard currency had led to the fast depletion of its foreign currency reserves.
The issuing of debit cards for purposes of foreign exchange smuggling and selling on Libya’s black market as well as the opening of bogus LCs were contributing to this.
The coordinated and corrupt mass issuing and use of debit cards rather than normal personal use, with the collusion of some bank personnel, had led to a disproportionate withdrawal abroad of hard currency. Black market currency dealers were also recently targeted in raids by Tripoli authorities.
The latest CBL conditions for issuing debit cards are:
- US$ 10,000 maximum limit per annum or equivalent – unused balances cannot be carried forward to next month
- US$ 200 daily ATM withdrawal limit
- US$ 4,000 maximum monthly ATM withdrawal limit
- US$ 50 cashback from POS – part of daily US$ 200 withdrawal limit
- US$ 1,500 maximum daily purchase limit through all various methods including POS and internet
- US$ 2,500 weekly purchase limit through various methods
- US$ 4,000 monthly purchase limit – from date of last purchase
- Debit card holders must hold a valid Libyan National ID Number (and therefore must be Libyan)
- Debit card holders must be over 18 years old
- Debit card holders must be account holders at bank (and over 18 years old), therefore capping the number of debit cards each bank branch can issue.
- Debit card charges must be within Islamic banking principles
- Banks will be liable to inspections by the CBL inspection department
|Currency||CBL official rate 01/01/15||CBL official rate 03/09/15||Black market rate 01/01/15||Black market rate 31/08/15|
The average black market LD rate for foreign exchange in Tripoli against three main currencies