Farhat Omar Bengdara (Arabic: فرحات عمر بن قداره) is a Libyan politician and banker who was the governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL)until he defected on 21st of February.
In an interview (with the Financial Times dated May 2011), he said that he had waited to officially resign from the Central 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.
His current role with the Libyan opposition is essentially trying to maintain banking functions to finance imports for food and medicine. Since the implementation of the sanctions he has contacted the US treasury and European Governments to make the sanctions distinguish between the regime and the people by allowing certain imports such as food and medicine.
Bengdara has a B.A. in Economics from Garyounis University, Libya and a Master in Money, Banking and Finance from Sheffield University, UK.
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. Mr. 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 April 29, 2009