Farhat Omar Bengdara (Arabic: فرحات عمر بن قداره, 27 September 1965 in Benghazi) is a Libyan politician and banker who was the governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) until he defected to the anti-Gaddafi side in the course of the Libyan Civil War. He left Libya for Turkey, which had directs flights and no visa requirements, on 21 February, but was formally in office until 6 March, when the government realised he would not return.
In an interview, he said that he had waited to resign from the bank until UN sanctions were formally in place, in the meantime delaying requested transfers of Libyan sovereign funds from EU and US accounts to countries likely to ignore the sanctions. He said that as a result 96% of external Libyan funds were blocked, and that the sanctions were extremely effective and were having a major impact on the regime.
He went on to describe his current role with the National Transitional Council, essentially trying to maintain banking functions in the free zone, and fostering relationships between the NTC and other countries which will allow central banking to be resumed when the conflict is over.
On 16 July, the day after the US recognised the NTC, he gave an interview on behalf of the newly formed association of Libyan bankers, stating that they were collecting data on Libyan foreign resources, and preparing plans for submission to the NTC concerning the restructuring of the Libyan banking sector when the time was right.
Earlier, he acted as Deputy Governor of the CBL; Chairman and General Manager for the Public Furniture Company, Libya; and Deputy Chairman of Wahda Bank, Libya. Bengdara has been a Director of Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) since 2001 and has 18 years experience in banking and other business sectors. Deputy Chairman of ABC in Egypt (S.A.E.) and Chairman of ABC International Bank plc, in London. He is also a board member for the Libyan Investment Corporation. Furthermore, Mr. Bengdara has been board member and Vice-Chairman of UniCredit SpA since 29 April 2009.
- Butler, Daren (16 July 2011). "Libyan bankers offer support to rebel council". Istanbul. Reuters. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Boardmember: Farhat Omar Bengdara". Unicredit. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
- "Libyan cash may be hidden in desert". Financial Times. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- [full citation needed]Annual Report 2001 Arab Banking Corporation