Bassil Urges Approval of Capital Control Law, Bill for Recovering Transferred Funds
Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Thursday urged parliament to approve a capital control draft law and another for recovering funds transferred abroad in a suspicious manner despite informal capital controls imposed by the banks.
“Together with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, we have reached a capital control draft law to control the transfer of funds to abroad,” Bassil tweeted.
“Its approval will prevent selective transfers in the future, but what about the previous period, when the Lebanese were deprived of withdrawing their deposits? We have submitted a law for recovering the transfers and we hope it will be approved in the next session,” the FPM chief added.
“We are waiting to see who will support it,” he went on to say.
Faced with a grinding U.S. dollar liquidity crisis, Lebanon's banks have since September imposed increasingly tight restrictions on dollar withdrawals and transfers abroad in an attempt to conserve dwindling foreign currency reserves.
Activists say ordinary depositors are footing the bill for a liquidity crisis worsened by politicians, senior civil servants and bank owners who used their influence to get their hefty savings out of the country.
Many of the country's top leaders own, or have large shares in, several banks.