Central Bank decision applies to firms like OMT, MoneyGram, and Western Union
Electronic money transfers from abroad will be settled exclusively in lira from now on, according to an intermediate circular by the Central Bank (BDL). The circular does not restrict domestic transfers.
The decision targets companies engaged in electronic cash transfers such as OMT, MoneyGram, and Western Union, said Riad Salameh, Governor of BDL. The circular does not apply to bank transfers.
Salameh said that BDL’s move is in line with international practices and aims to combat money laundering.
Marwan Mikhael, Head of Research at Blominvest Bank, said that when foreign currency transfers are converted into liras, the transaction will come under the control of BDL, reducing the risks of money laundering.
Although electronic cash transfers represent a small portion of remittance inflows, the Central Bank’s decision will also help to reduce the dollarization of the economy, and to strengthen the lira, Mikhael said.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul