Libya’s cash tragedy lingers as commercial banks raise costs of service

Libya’s cash tragedy lingers as commercial banks raise costs of service

December 28, 2016 - 22:02
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

With the shortage of cash in Libya loitering and sticking around all across the country’s banks leaving citizens burdened with ever-increasing suffering, the commercial banks in Libya have increased the costs of their services out of the blue.

Several bank clients expressed bitter complaints about such an outlandish addition of costs on bank services, which varied from one bank to another.

The increase included services like issuing new checkbooks, which now cost LYD25 per one checkbook while it used to cost LYD10. Certified checks now cost LYD25 per check with a remarkable increase, which also spilled to all other banking and financial transactions.

There are now about LYD27 billion circulating outside banks and according to economic analysts, there should not be more than LYD8 billion outside banks in normal circumstances.

According to economists, instability, lack of security and political stalemate in Libya hamper any development efforts aimed at enhancing the Libyan economy, thus leading to variable banking services with improved performance.

“Shortage of cash at the Libyan banks is a security issue and our bank branches have been more than once put under pressure by those who shoulder weapons.” The CEO of Al-Jomhouriya Bank, Musbah Al-Ekari said.

In a statement following a workshop organized by the Administrative Control Authority in Waddan Hotel, Al-Ekari added Wednesday that fragile security made the banks decide to transfer their cash to the Central Bank of Libya, let alone the panicking businesspersons, who – out of fear, withdrew all of their money from banks.