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Lebanese Banking Association Sets Date for Strike Resumption

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The Lebanese Banking Association announced that it would resume the strike starting next Tuesday morning, after court decisions it called “arbitrary” were handed down against it.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the association said it was taking a cautious stance after demanding “to correct the imbalance in some of the arbitrary judgments against it” and indicated that it saw “a first step in the right direction, a discriminatory prosecutor” and hoped that “other steps in the same direction, in which judicial decisions restore what they knew before in terms of fairness, efficiency, impartiality and equality.

She added: “Unfortunately, the banks were right in their cautious stance, as over the past few days, new arbitrary court decisions have been issued that use double standards, obliging banks to accept payment of their foreign currency debts owed by borrowers. by check drawn in the Banque du Liban, or in Lebanese pounds at the exchange rate of 1,500 pounds to one dollar, with the banks undertaking to pay or transfer deposits in foreign currency in cash and in the same currency, as well as in favor of some depositors at the expense of other depositors.

The association said that “these court decisions did not take into account the axioms of banking. Banks for the thousandth time do not print currencies. They take the depositor’s money to lend it to someone who needs it, on the condition that he returns it.” them with interest. Banks, in turn, return it to the depositor with his interest, leaving behind a margin. “profit for her.”

She asked: “If a court decision has been made obliging a bank to accept payment of a debt advanced from deposits in foreign currency, by check drawn on the Bank of Lebanon, or in Lebanese pounds at the exchange rate of 1500 LL per dollar, how can the bank return to the depositor his deposit in cash in foreign currency? And if he can return it to someone from his shares, then how can he return it to others?

The association added that “these arbitrary court decisions obligated banks that lent about $40 billion to the private sector on 10/17/2019 to receive more than $30 billion in checks drawn on the Banque du Liban or in Lebanese pounds at the exchange rate.” The amount is LL 1,500 per dollar, and court decisions do not take into account that in this way they reduce or even eliminate the chances of depositors to recover their deposits in foreign currency.

The association concluded its statement by stating that “in view of the foregoing and since the situation has reached such a serious level, it is no longer enough to draw attention, object and warn. Rather, it has become an urgent need for official authorities, including executive, monetary, judicial and legislative, to take responsibility for a comprehensive solution to the systemic crisis. “The Lebanese Banking Association forced to return to strike starting on the morning of Tuesday 14 March 2023.”

Source: “Vestnik”

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