Lebanon central bank allows withdrawal of $150 a month

A Lebanese central bank circular published on Saturday allows monthly withdrawals of $150 from some accounts opened by depositors after Oct. 31, 2019, to convert Lebanese pound savings into dollars at the start of the financial crisis, a central bank source said.

The banking system has been largely paralyzed since the start of the financial crisis which has frozen depositors out of their savings and sunk the Lebanese pound by 98% since 2019.

The central bank source said the circular applies to accounts of less than $300,000, describing these funds as “old money”, or funds that had been in the financial system at the time of the collapse.

The financial collapse was caused by decades of corruption and profligate spending by ruling politicians. More than four years later, the government has not carried out reforms widely seen as vital to the recovery of the Lebanese economy.