London, Ankara, Dammam – The decision by Gulf and Arab countries to cut ties with Doha over its support to terrorism has greatly impacted the Qatari economy, as the Qatari riyal trade has been disrupted in major European capitals.
Several British banks said on Friday they had stopped dealing in Qatari riyals. Those include Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax.
Reuters reported that Lloyds Banking Group has stopped on Friday trading Qatari riyals and that the currency was no longer available for sale or buy-back at its high-street banks.
The agency quoted a spokeswoman for the bank as saying that a “third-party supplier” that carries out its foreign exchange service had ceased trading in the currency from June 21.
“This currency is no longer available for sale or buy-back across our high street banks including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax,” the spokeswoman said.
The Financial Times reported on Friday that several British banks have stopped trading Qatari riyals for retail customers.
While the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has insisted that reports about the trading and exchange rate of the Qatari Riyal were baseless, this week the Riyal traded between offshore banks as low as 3.81 to the US dollar, its lowest level this decade and more than 4 percent below its peg of 3.64 to the dollar.
The Financial Times also said that the British Post Office has stopped trading in riyals earlier this month.
It quoted a spokesperson for the company on Friday as saying: “Many foreign currency providers have temporarily stopped trading in Qatar riyals, meaning that the currency is not currently available at Post Office branches”.
Banking sources said that international pressure on the Qatari riyal would force the QCB to use its reserves.
“Threats of further economic sanctions against Qatar, in particular if the latter failed to meet the demands set by its neighbors, would put more pressure on the Qatari riyal,” the sources said.