Central Bank of Libya

Jordan-based Al Baraka bank returns ‘‘suspicious’’ Libyan transfer ‘‘funding terrorism’’

The Tripoli-based Libyan Audit Bureau has confirmed that Jordan based Al Baraka bank has returned a transfer from Libya for being ‘‘suspicious’’ and for ‘‘funding terrorism’’. The transfer originating from the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) were intended to cover Libyan student scholarships in Jordan. The Audit Bureau revealed that it had, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and the CBL, opened an independent bank account for the Cultural Attaché at its Amman embassy specifically for scholarship funds. However, the Audit Bureau admitted that the Libyan embassy broke procedures and regulations and an agreement by using the funds on other spending rather than for student scholarships.

Libya: regulation of the financial services sector

The Libyan General National Congress (GNC) looks to amend regulations of the financial services sector and to introduce Islamic financing into Libya for the first time. Currently there are a number of discrepancies between a new law about Islamic finance and some of the existing supervisory legislation. This has resulted in confusion that is likely to put a brake on the development of this sector, as investment companies will not be willing to develop new products. Clear common objectives, separation of powers and clarity of written rules and regulations are necessary to raise the competitiveness of Lybia's domestic banking markets, develop new Shariah-compliant financing products and provide a secure approach to the growing needs of the Libyan customers.

The Central Bank and Islamic banking plans

Central Bank of Libya's work on plans for the introduction of Sharia-compliant banking in the country's financial sector go on. According to Fatih Aqoub, a consultant engaged on the bank's project, rapid progress has already been made. Since January a special committee has been working on the issue and searching for best practice from other Islamic countries. Amendments to the banking laws were formulated aiming to enable Sharia banking for an interim period before separate legislation is enacted.

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