BDL, The Banque du Liban was established by the Code of Money and Credit promulgated on the 1st of August 1963, by Decree no. 13513. It started to operate effectively on 1st April, 1964.
BDL is a legal public entity enjoying financial and administrative autonomy. It is not subject to the administrative and management rules and controls applicable to the public sector. Its capital is totally appropriated by the State.
The BDL is vested by law with the exclusive right to issue the national currency. As stipulated by article 70 of the Code of Money and Credit, the BDL is entrusted with the general mission of safeguarding the national currency in order to ensure the basis for sustained social and economic growth. This mission consists of the :
- Safeguard of monetary and economic stability
- Safeguard of the soundness of the banking sector
- Development of money and financial markets
- Development and regulation of the payment systems and instruments
- Development and regulation of money transfer operations including electronic transfers
- Development and regulation of the clearing and settlement operations relative to different financial and payment instruments and marketable bonds
The BDL is endowed by law, with the prerogatives to fulfill its mission. It can use all measures it deems appropriate to ensure exchange rate stability, specifically the intervention in the foreign exchange market by buying and selling foreign currencies.
The BDL controls bank liquidity by adjusting discount rates, by intervening in the open market, as well as by determining credit facilities to banks and financial institutions. It regulates banks' credit in terms of volume and types of credit, by imposing credit ceiling, by directing credits towards specific purposes or sectors and setting the terms and regulations governing credits in general.
The BDL imposes on banks reserve requirements on assets and/or loans as determined by BDL, as well as penalties should shortfalls occur. Investment in TBs may be considered by the BDL as part of the reserve requirements.
The BDL grants licenses for the establishment of banks, financial institutions, brokerage firms, money dealers, foreign banks, leasing companies and mutual funds in Lebanon. The Banking Control Commission controls and supervises these institutions. Conferring with the Association of Banks, the BDL issues circulars and resolutions governing the relations of banks with their customers.
There is a regular coordination between the BDL and the Government in order to ensure consistency between BDL's objectives and those of the Government. Cooperation with the Government implies coordinating fiscal and monetary policy measures. It informs the Government on economic matters that might negatively affect the national economy and currency and suggests measures that might benefit the balance of payments, the price level, public finance and offers advice on how to promote economic growth. It also ensures the relations between the Government and international financial institutions.