The Banks of Libya
There are about ten major banks in Libya: the Central Bank of Libya, the Agricultural Bank, the National Commercial Bank, the Commerce & Development Bank, the Arab Foreign Bank, the Savings and Real Estate Investment Bank, the Sahara Bank, al-Jamahiriya Bank, the Umma Bank, and the Wahda Bank. Although all the above banks are state-controlled banks, the Libyan government passed a law in 1993 which allows the public to establish private sector banks in Libya; and now even foreign companies began buying shares in Libyan banks, after the Libyan government began to allow foreign banks to take part in preparing the country for the development planned ahead. It was reported that six big lenders, including HSBC Holding PLC and Standard Chartered PLC, were short-listed for two banking licenses in Libya. The BNP Paribas of France owns 19 percent of Sahara Bank; while the Arab Bank of Jordan has a similar stake in Wahda Bank. The Libyan Arab Foreign Bank implements the international functions of the Central Bank of Libya through subsidiaries in some 20 foreign countries. Libya has also started granting "banking licences" in 2011 to foreign banks to operate in Libya in partnership with local Libyan businesses, such as the licence granted to the Italian Unicredit.
The Libyan National Payment System (NPS):
Although the Libyan monetary system is rapidly catching up with the current international standards, there are a number of issues that still are under development; at the top of which rests the introduction of electronic monetary systems into the various financial services. These systems will be electronically linked via fiber optic technologies and digital and wireless satellites systems, using sophisticated encryption procedures to ensure the safety of the transmitted transactions. Article (5) of the Banking Law (1) of the year 2005 categorically capacitates the Central Bank of Libya to supervise the development of the NPS. In a joint cooperative project with various commercial banks, the CBL has began to implement the latest developments in information technology to modernise the NPS. As a result, foreign companies were awarded contracts to supervise the development of the following systems:
Core Banking System (CBS): a system to develop technologies to enable businesses and banks to benefit from the National Payment System and improve their global relations.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM): an electronic system of money distribution and balance keeping for the customers of all the participating banks, via automated teller machines (ATM).
Automated Checks Processing (ACP): an inter-banks electronic system to oversee the clearing of cheques and settling their values.
Automated Clearing House (ACH): all banks need to settle their accounts and transactions with their clients before reaching the RTGS (see below).
Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS): an electronic system which forces all financial bodies, such as banks, to settle all transaction accounts with the Central Bank of Libya at the end of each business day.
Points Of Sales (POS): an electronic system enabling businesses and customers to execute electronic payments at points of sales.
List of The Main Banks in Libya: