By Sami Zaptia.
London, 6 February 2018:
The Bank of Commerce and Development (BCD), headquartered in the eastern city of Beida, has accused the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL) of misusing its powers in order to stop the BCD’s banking activities across Libya.
The BCD stated that the Tripoli-CBL had frozen all foreign currency transactions to the BCD since November 2015. The Tripoli-CBL had also prevented the BCD from using the electronic cheque-clearing system for cheques above the value of LD 10,000 as a punishment for a whole year.
In its statement, the BCD accused what it referred to as the ‘‘Islamic groups that are in control of the scene’’ in Tripoli of being behind these moves.
The BCD said that it had not received any ‘‘letter of thanks’’ from the Tripoli-CBL despite its efforts in partially contributing to the reduction of Libya’s liquidity crisis. It pointed out that it had launched the ‘‘Pay Me’’ and ‘‘Travel cheques’’ services which enabled its customers to pay various bills through them, rather than having to pay in cash.
It will be recalled that the Tripoli-CBL had fallen out with the BCD which it sees as having contributed to the liquidity crises and the slump in the Libyan dinar value by facilitating payments for black-market traders using its cheques. In July 2016, the Tripoli-based Audit Bureau and the Public Prosecutor’s Office suspended the BCD’s from the cheque clearance system, but lifted the suspension a month later without announcing any charges.
Audit Bureau and Public Prosecutor suspend Commerce and Development bank cheque clearance on suspicion of fraud
Analysts say that the Tripoli-CBL had forced the BCD’s hand by freezing it out of any foreign currency distributions, thus forcing it to buy foreign currency on the black-market to need the needs of those living in the east and the eastern-based administration. Both sides accuse the other of politicizing their banking role in line with their regional politics.
Audit Bureau allows Commerce and Development bank cheque clearance below LD 10 k