Interview with General Manager of Jumhouria Bank

Regarding international cooperation, when we were sitting with the privatization bureau they said it's still difficult to transfer payments from local banks internationally. Can you tell us more about this?

There are no problems at all between the local banks and the international banks but there is a regulation from the central bank that limits transfers for each company and for individuals. It's just a matter of control of the money from outside and from inside to outside. Really we are facing many problems. We also asked the central bank to delegate this to the banks themselves to know their customers and determine appropriate transfers.

We are facing many problems, especially for some false bills of collections. There is a bill of collection with a bill of lending but unfortunately there is no equipment or material shipped to the country. There are millions of those. This will affect our reserves. Some people from Libya have left the country and they have assets here and they can liquidate them and take the money outside the country.

At the same time, some money may be used to get materials by paying cash. But definitely we have to control this money and prevent money laundering. So the central bank tries to control it but unfortunately some laws and regulations don't differentiate between the law-abiding person who has real work, real investment or real importing of materials and the person who is just transferring the money and we don't know where it's going.

Unfortunately we have some countries that close their eyes to money laundering and they let the money come from here to their country. So we have to be careful about the money here in the banking sector. At the same time, the central bank issued a circular which affects the most important sectors like oil.

Oil is the main sector that generates money for the country. The oil companies in Libya need a lot of services and equipment which will then facilitate issues for them, also from the communication side. It is also important from the Ministry of Health side - the hospitals or medicine or equipment.

The issue should also be facilitated for them. We are trying gradually to improve by discussing these issues with the central bank and trying to facilitate this gradually and introduce things gradually to soothe the regulations and increase transparency. The central bank should be able to serve the proper sectors without any problems but we cannot open everything because unfortunately the outflow is less than the cash flow from the outside.

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