Positive Response To Calls For The Central Banks of Libya to Unite
On 22 November, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Serraj issued a statement calling on the governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) in Tripoli, Sadiq al-Kabir, and the head of the Bayda-based parallel CBL, Ali al-Hibri, to unite the two organisations. He asked them to put their differences aside and meet with him this week to address the liquidity crisis and the devaluation of the Libyan dinar.
Hibri welcomed Serraj’s suggestion to meet in a televised statement, and called for a board meeting in Tripoli. The Tripoli-based CBL then issued a statement agreeing that the banks should be reunified and agreeing to meet with Serraj and Hibri, but setting some preconditions. The Tripoli CBL insisted that an audit of both banks is carried out by an independent expert body of their respective activities so that each bank is held legally responsible for their activities since the 2014 split. The statement also stressed that while it would attend the meeting, it did not believe that reunification would solve all of Libya’s financial problems.
While the Tripoli-based CBL is likely correct in that reunification by itself will not solve the range of economic problems currently stacked against the country, it will be a very valuable step towards having a coherent and cooperative economic policy and therefore could stabilize parts of the economy that are currently vulnerable and could encourage greater international investment and support in the medium term.