World Bank, U.S. Treasury Urge Reduction of Bank Numbers to 25

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The World Bank and the U.S. Treasury Department proposed to Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh to reduce the number of working banks in Lebanon from 72 to 25 within a period of five years.

According to al-Liwaa newspaper published on Tuesday, the proposal came in light of the tough measures imposed on transactions, especially those conducted by expatriates.

The newspaper said that the reduction in bank numbers would give the banking sector the needed boost and increase the capital of national banks by merging their branches.

Fitch, Standard and Poors and Moody's rating agencies had downgraded Lebanon's rating in 2013, citing political uncertainties, spill-overs from the Syrian conflict on economic performance and slow growth prospects.

Fitch Lebanon's credit rating was affirmed at 'B', while S&P rates the country 'B-' and Moody's has the nation above Fitch at 'B1'. All with negative outlook.



Comments 1
Missing greatpierro 14 October 2014, 18:44

FT, come on drop this anti US rethoric. Droping the number from 72 to 25 is something that is common sense as there are too many small banks in Lebanon that cannot cope with the stringeant regulation imposed by Geneva II and the anti laundering regulations.

It is important the lebanese bank sector undergoes consolidations through mergers which will reinforce in fine the banking sectors allowing our banks to develop locally and internationally.

In most developed countries the bank sector have consolidated; for instance in the netherlands and france there are 8 main banks besides the online banks. Why Lebanon should be different.