Banks Association Says 'Criminal Acts' Won't Resolve Financial Crisis


The Association of Banks in Lebanon on Monday condemned the latest violent attacks against some banks and “the personal threats that targeted some banks' chairmen and board members.”

“ABL strongly condemns all kinds of attacks, especially the bombing and sabotage operations that targeted some bank branches yesterday in a number of Lebanese regions,” the Association said in a statement.

“These deplorable criminal acts that threaten security and the safety of the sector's employees cannot contribute to or speed up resolving the financial and monetary problems that the country is suffering amid this difficult period,” ABL added.

It also urged authorities to “pursue the attackers of banks and the perpetrators of these criminal acts and refer them to the judiciary to give them the punishments that they deserve.”

The attacks come at a time of rising public anger against banks in Lebanon, which is facing its worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

The value of Lebanon's local currency has been in free fall, losing over 60% of its value against the dollar in recent weeks. The downward spiral was accelerated by the central bank's decision to halt the withdrawal of dollars from foreign currency accounts or transfer bureaus. The central bank requires private banks to convert withdrawals into the local currency at a market rate set daily.

The decision brought back protests to the streets of Lebanon earlier this week, as demonstrators criticized the central bank governor and private banks and accused them of sequestering their savings in foreign currency.

In a sign of the deepening crisis, Prime Minister Hassan Diab accused the longtime central bank governor Riad Salameh of orchestrating the local currency's crash and criticized what he called his "opaque" policies that he said covered up major banking sector losses and capital flight.

Comments 2
Thumb canadianleb 27 April 2020, 22:30

Correct; "Criminal acts will not resolve the financial crisis" However; do keep in mind that "criminal acts created the financial crisis"... what a banana republic...

Missing rabiosa 28 April 2020, 16:50

The Hizb has successfully made the banks the bogey man and steered the arrows from the corruption of the government(s) and it's cronies towards the private industry and capitalism itself as represented by the banks.

Are the banks guilty, maybe so to some degree, but throwing molotov cocktails and destroying property is not going to resolve anything.

The LBP is now effectively worthless. Ditch it once and for all. Adopt the USD. Whatever financial mechanism that a country has to go through must start immediately as part of the reform.