Banque du Liban Basic Circular 158

FAQs | Banque du Liban Basic Circular 158 | Lebanon | Byblos Bank

You are being redirected to .

 

Please Rotate your screen to portrait, for best viewing.

Byblos Bank

FAQs

|

Banque du Liban Basic Circular 158

 158 الرجاء الضغط هنا للاطلاع على نص تعميم مصرف لبنان الأساسي رقم

الرجاء الضغط هنا للاطلاع على النسخة العربية من الأسئلة المتكررة

 

Banque du Liban (BDL) issued on Tuesday, 8 June 2021, the Basic Circular 158 related to the exceptional measures concerning cash withdrawals from foreign currency bank accounts. Here below are some useful information and clarifications related to this Circular, which allows both withdrawals of up to USD 400 in cash and USD 200 in cash LBP at the Sayrafa platform’s exchange rate, and purchases by debit cards equivalent to an amount of up to USD 200 converted to LBP at the Sayrafa platform’s rate too.

 

What should I do to withdraw my money and benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158? Do I need to visit the branch in person?

A SMS will be sent to Eligible CIFs with a Web-link to Digital Acquisition (DA) website.

 The client will press the link then:

1. Fill in their Mobile Banking credentials or his debit card number related to his individual CIF and its related pin code;

2. He should then enter the OTP received;

3. Be notified of the total eligible amount;

i. In case the client agrees with all the conditions stated in the Circular 158, he should press on “Execute Circ. 158”. In this case, an email notification shall be sent to the branch to proceed with the execution of the operation (details below). At this stage, withdrawals under BDL circular 151 remain Zero.

ii. In case the client Rejects Circ. 158, he should press on “Not Interested”. An email will be sent as well to the branch to reject Circ. 158 on T24 (as per below). The client can then benefit again from Circular 151 on his private account.

ii. This Digital Process is available for private CIF (Account ) and joint CIF  (Account) with two customers , Joint with more than two customers must visit the branch to sign necessary documents.

 

N.B: In Case customer approach the Branch, he must express his decision on whether he wants to benefit from circular 158 or not and sign on attached terms and waive of the banking secrecy.

 

Will I need to sign any documents?

Yes, you will need to sign: 

Digital documents if you are applying through the web 

Printed documents if you are applying through the branch

 

If you approve to benefit from BDL Circular 158, you have to sign: 

  • Acceptance letter
  • The BDL RPT, Centrale de dépots 

If you decline to benefit from BDL Circular 158, you have to sign:

  • Refusal letter 

 

Who can benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158?

You will be eligible to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158 if you belong to one of the below categories of clients:

  • Only individuals/physical persons that held Foreign Currency Yield (FCY) accounts as at 31 October 2019 and whose accounts are still currently active;
  • Minors, included as independent IDs;
  • Co-holders (physical persons) of Joint and Co-Joint accounts.

 

Who is excluded from benefiting from BDL Basic Circular 158?

You will not be eligible to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158 if you belong to one of the below categories of clients:

  • Establishments, sole proprietorships or companies;
  • Holders of FCY accounts that used to exist as at 31 October 2019, but no longer exist today;
  • Holders of new accounts created after 31 October 2019;
  • Customers who are subject to BDL Circular 154 (clients who have transferred more than USD 500,000// of their deposits abroad since 1 July 2017) and didn’t channel back the requested amount;
  • NGOs, public sector and financial institutions;  
  • New CIFs created after 31 October 2019.

All clients who are eligible for Circular 158 will no longer be able to benefit from Circular 151 (Withdrawal from foreign currency account at a USD/LBP rate of LBP 3,900).

 

How will the Bank calculate the eligible amount?

To calculate the eligible amount on your account(s), the Bank will: 

1. Take the foreign currency account balance as at 31 October 2019 net of collateral, from which the Bank will deduct cash withdrawals, international transfers and card international payments (from 1 November 2019 till 30 June 2021);

2. Take the foreign currency account balance as at 30 June 2021 net of collateral, from which the Bank will deduct the FX transactions (from 1 November 2019 till 30 June 2021);

3. Take the minimum balance between points 1 and 2 above; 

4. Deduct from the balance taken (minimum balance) foreign currency retail loans payments for one year (only if the customer has FX transaction deductions);

5. Maximum eligibility for each customer is the minimum between point 4 above and USD 50,000 to be transferred to a special sub-account.  

  • Establishments, companies, classified customers and customers under BDL circular 154 are excluded from Circular 158.
  • Minimum Eligible amount USD 50 

 

If I only have a joint account at the Bank, what is the amount from which I can benefit?

Both holders of a joint account should agree on benefitting from BDL Basic Circular 158 first. Private accounts shall then be opened for each holder and related allowed limits shall be transferred to these accounts. Each holder will benefit from a maximum amount of USD 400, to be split into USD 200 in cash, USD 100 exchanged at an exchange rate of LBP 12,000 to the dollar and withdrawn in cash LBP from any of the Bank’s ATMs, and USD 100 exchanged at an exchange of LBP 12,000 to the dollar and used in LBP for POS purchases. The total eligible amount for the joint account shall be split between the holders of the account on a prorated basis.

 

Which card should I use to withdraw my money?

You must use the same debit card that you usually use to withdraw cash from Byblos Bank ATMs. It will not be necessary to issue a new debit card.

 

Will I be asked to close my account(s) after withdrawing my money?

No, you will not be asked to close your account(s) after withdrawing your money. However, the Bank reserves the right to close the account(s), according to the estimated time needed to withdraw the amounts.

 

Can I withdraw part of the amount available in my account or will I need to withdraw the full amount?

You can withdraw part or all of the amount available in your account, either through Byblos Bank’s ATMs, or by visiting the branch.

 

Can I perform more than one cash withdrawal operation?

Yes, you can perform more than one cash withdrawal operation.

 

What is the exchange rate specified for the circular 158?

The exchange rate specified by BDL for Circular 158 is fixed at LBP 12,000 for USD 1.

 

If I have an eligible account in another bank, will I be able to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158 to withdraw money from my account(s) from more than one bank?

Yes, you can benefit from Circular 158 to withdraw money from your account at different banks on condition that the total eligible amount doesn’t exceed USD 50,000; noting that you will sign on a Banking Secrecy Waiver, which will only apply on the sub-account opened specifically for this purpose.

 

Can I withdraw money directly from my account or is the eligible amount going to be transferred to another account?

When you decide to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158, your branch will open 4 sub-accounts to perform the transactions, as follows:

1. A Special Sub-Account to which the full eligible amount will be transferred after deducting all loans and banking commitments, if any (with a maximum eligible amount of USD 50,000);

2. A Fresh USD account to which USD 400 will be automatically transferred on a monthly basis, to be withdrawn in cash from any Byblos Bank ATM;

3. An LBP account to which the equivalent in LBP of USD 200 will be automatically transferred on a monthly basis, based on the Sayrafa platform’s exchange rate, to be withdrawn in cash from any Byblos Bank ATM;

4. An LBP POS account to which the equivalent in LBP of up to USD 200 will be automatically transferred on a monthly basis, based on an exchange rate of LBP 12,000 for each USD 1 to be used for local purchases through a debit card.

 

 Will I be charged any fees?

Byblos Bank will not charge any fees on the Special Sub-Accounts opened specifically for BDL Basic Circular 158, however a fee is deducted from the current account opened for LBP POS usage.

 

Will I still benefit from BDL Basic Circular 151 if I agree to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158?

No, once you decide to benefit from BDL Basic Circular 158, you can no longer benefit from BDL Basic Circular 151 on your eligible account and all related accounts.

 

 I didn’t withdraw as per circular 151 and I didn’t decide if to agree on BDL circular 158, what would happen to my accounts:

You have till 30 September 2021 to decide whether or not you want to benefit from BDL circular 158. In the meantime, you can withdraw from your foreign currency accounts as per BDL circular 151.  In case you didn’t benefit from circular 151 between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 you are allowed to benefit from a retroactive of 3 months. After that date no retroactive is allowed. If you benefit from Circular 151 for a month, 158 will be allowed the next month.

I have a salary domiciliation account and I am eligible for BDL circular 158. Can I still withdraw as per Circular 151?

Yes, you can withdraw as per circular 151 (Withdrawal from foreign currency accounts at a USD/LBP rate of 3,900) from the domiciliation of salary account only.

How will joint accounts benefit from Circular 158?

The amount disbursed for eligible joint accounts is based on a prorated basis for each private CIF; for example:

  • A joint account (2 beneficiaries) is eligible for USD 50,000; the related private accounts of beneficiaries are not eligible; 

i. Client A wants to benefit from USD 25,000 

ii. Client B wants to benefit from USD 25,000 

  • The system will calculate the prorated as A: 50%; B: 50% 

  i. Client A will be allowed to benefit from 50% of USD 800 => USD 400 disbursed as follows: USD 200 cash, USD 200 at a rate of LBP 12,000 cash and POS. 

ii. Client B will be allowed to benefit from 50% of USD 800 => USD 400 disbursed as follows USD 200 cash, USD 200 in LBP at a rate of LBP 12,000 cash and POS.