Aoun Says 'Keep Backing Middle Class' as Housing Bank Toughens Terms

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President Michel Aoun on Tuesday urged banks to continue to offer loans aimed at propping up the country's middle class, after Banque de L'Habitat (housing bank) toughened its lending terms.

Aoun voiced his remarks during a meeting with a delegation from the Association of Banks in Lebanon.

“The president instructed us to continue to offer loans that support the middle class,” ABL chief Joseph Torbey said after the meeting.

“There is great confidence in the financial sector and in the central bank that oversees these issues,” Torbey added, reassuring that “we are not in a crisis.”

Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh meanwhile held talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grand Serail.

The meetings come after the central bank issued a memo adjusting the interests of loans backed by it and amid reports that the housing banks has sharply toughened its lending terms.

According to reports, the housing bank has raised the interest rate from 3% to 3.75% as it lowered the payment period from 30 to 20 years. The interest rate for Lebanese expats was meanwhile raised from 2% to 2.75% with an unchanged 30-year payment period.

Under the new reported terms, the bank will also withhold loans from anyone who inherits a house outside Beirut and anyone who benefited from a housing bank loan in the past.

A central bank source meanwhile told LBCI TV that the central bank “has nothing to do with measures taken by the housing bank or commercial banks regarding housing loans.”

“These measures are part of the policy of each bank,” the source added.

Comments 7
Thumb ___flamethrower___ 13 February 2018, 17:26

Never has Lebanon seen a President who cares about the poor and middle class like this one, ever!

Thumb im.bassil 13 February 2018, 18:05

Of course President Aoun, AKA pappy, cares about the poor and middle class. After all he was born poor, then as a Lebanese army officer joined the middle class. On 13th October 1990, at the French embassy, he was no longer poor nor middle class courtesy of luggage crammed with legally acquired booty and bank transfers. Pappy also cares about helping other poor and middle class people and I am living proof of this fact. I used to be poor, then as soon as I became minister the first time around I moved up to be part of the middle class, now I am neither. Thank you pappy, love you. $O$O.. umm, I mean XOXO.

Thumb s.o.s 13 February 2018, 19:35

Is it true that, when he fled Beirut ,he emptied the the coffers of the Lebanese central bank? I’m referring to cash and gold.

Thumb im.bassil 13 February 2018, 19:59

That's bold faced lied invented by Ma7war alMoukawama wa alMoumana3a, the Central Bank was under Syrian control. On the other hand pappy did take the pay of the soldiers under his command with him, many of them no longer needed them and he had three beautiful daughters with huge appetites to feed something I came to learn myself.

Thumb s.o.s 13 February 2018, 21:45

I’m.bassil, thanks for the update.

Is it true that the 3 daughters are insatiable?

Btw, women have the X chromosome, men X and Y.... so what does that mean? He only has female seeds within him. And frankly, his behavior of running away from heated firefights does comfort me in my assessment. Although, some women are much more courageous than men, I.e. Norma Jean Khabbaz, or the Kurdish female fighters, they terrorized Isis.

Thumb im.bassil 13 February 2018, 18:13

That's right John they all are... except us that is.

Thumb whyaskwhy 13 February 2018, 19:10

Lip service for the election process. What Bank in Lebanon is prepared to loose money because the quisling president said its nice? He has done nothing during his tenure and will continue to do nothing. Thieves supported by thieves.