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Sierra Leone lifts restriction on foreign currency

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Sierra Leone lifts restriction on foreign currency by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 09:29am
The Sierra Leone government has lifted a year-long restriction on foreign currency transactions.

The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) said on Wednesday that anyone can now hold as much money as they want in any currency.

“All restrictions on the amount of foreign currency individuals and businesses may hold within Sierra Leone have been lifted with immediate effect,” the Bank said in a statement signed by BSL Governor, Prof Kelfala M. Kallon.

It also ordered commercial banks to reverse all restrictions in relation to the policy on their customers’ accounts.

The move came as a surprise to many, especially since the BSL didn’t provide any explanation for the decision.

The restriction was imposed in August 2019 at the height of a major economic crisis that was characterised by high inflation and shortage of the local currency, Leone.

It prohibited individuals or businesses from holding more than US$10,000 or its equivalent in any other foreign currency outside the banking system. It also prohibited exports of same amount.

The BSL said back then that the move was meant to protect the Leone as a legal tender and transactions of any form in foreign currency were declared illegal.

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