A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey. Picture: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER
A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey. Picture: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER

Istanbul —  The Turkish banking regulator said on Thursday that it imposed a lira transaction ban on BNP Paribas, Citibank and UBS as they failed to meet their lira liabilities.

The move followed state-media reports that Turkish regulators had launched legal action against London-based financial institutions over allegations they bought large sums of foreign currency and then defaulted on Turkish lira liabilities to weaken the currency.

UBS declined to comment.

“It has been decided not to make new or renew existing Turkish lira foreign currency transactions with foreign banks who default on lira liabilities including ... BNP Paribas, Citibank and UBS,” the regulator said in a statement.

The lira transaction ban will include transactions with the banned banks' group banks that operate in other countries, the watchdog said.

The lira, which traded at 7.1415 by midafternoon on Thursday after hitting a record low, firmed sharply after the announcement.

Reuters