Professional commands accuse ABL of distorting the content of their exchanges

Sources within the mandates of the liberal professions, especially the commission for the protection of the rights of depositors formed there last December at the behest of Beirut lawyers, denigrate the Association of the banks of Lebanon (ABL) for having “distorted” the content of their joint meeting on Thursday.

They specifically targeted a press release published in the afternoon of the same day and in which the ABL essentially asserted that the banking sector and the orders were united against the State on the subject of “return of deposits”. . These have been mostly confiscated by illegal banking restrictions in the area since 2019 that have contributed to the pound’s collapse. The State, which is in talks with the International Monetary Fund with the aim of issuing financial assistance, plans to pierce part of the remaining deposits (a decrease of nearly 50 billion dollars when counting the share of deposits in pounds at the official rate) . £ 1,507.5, according to recent figures compiled by Byblos Bank). Funds in restricted currencies (bank dollars or lollars) can currently only be withdrawn in pounds at lower than market rates, or in dollars but at a discount.

Hypothetical income
In its press release, the ABL notably reported a declaration attributed to its president Salim Sfeir stating that “banks and depositors are in the same boat” before considering that the State is “responsible for manage the losses of the Banque du Liban ”, of which the banking sector has tens of billions of dollars in receipts, through certificates of deposit. ABL added that local banks are only liable for losses related to the loans they have granted, whether in the private sector or in the state. As financial expert Mike Azar explained in our columns on Tuesday, banks currently owe depositors $ 100 billion, BDL owes banks $ 80 billion, but only has $ 11 billion. that hard currency left, not counting the gold it could not throw away. Eurobonds (state debt securities in currency), in which banks and the BDL share a share, have disappeared since the default was announced in March 2020 and as long as the Lebanese debt has not been fixed. However, according to sources contacted, the statement of the meeting, arranged by a third party, was written unilaterally by the ABL, “without consultation” with the mandates, and in no way reflects a “standard position “. They point out that the mandates firmly take into account that banks cannot shirk their responsibility because they continue to finance the State and put money into the BDL despite knowing the financial reality of the country (the deficit accumulated by an unproductive and corrupt state, such as costly exchange rate consolidation policies implemented by the BDL).

Sources further speculate that the ABL is trying to manipulate public opinion by saying that the state could securitize potential revenues from the country’s perceived offshore hydrocarbon reserves to cover deposits. without the banks having to get their hands dirty. in the pocket, yielding a potential $ 354 billion, even $ 1,000 billion, cited by three companies, including Spectrum. The British company specializing in seismic engineering was tasked to launch studies in Lebanon’s exclusive economic zone in 2010. Exploration is not yet complete, but in addition, if it happens, the State will take a few years to collect the first profits. Titles based on hypothetical income are worthless and the argument used by ABL is just an attempt to drown the fish, ”one of the sources contacted said.

The sources, however, assured that “the mandates are not against the idea of ​​continuing exchanges with the ABL” to find a global solution regarding confiscated deposits and practical arrangements to manage the many hurdles in the day- day. As a reminder, professional mandates recently instructed their legal representatives to initiate proceedings to obtain the return of funds blocked by banking restrictions on the amount in which they were deposited.

Sources within the mandates of the liberal professions, especially the commission for the protection of the rights of depositors formed there last December at the behest of Beirut lawyers, denigrate the Association of the banks of Lebanon (ABL) for having “distorted” the content of their joint meeting on Thursday.
They are specifically targeting …

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