EXCLUSIVE Lebanese banks object to proposals in draft govt monetary plan


BEIRUT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Lebanon’s banking affiliation stated on Monday it opposed proposals set out in a draft authorities plan reported by Reuters final week for tackling the monetary disaster, saying they might trigger a protracted lack of confidence within the monetary sector.

Responding to written questions from Reuters, the Affiliation of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) stated that it had not seen an official model of the plan.

A senior Lebanese authorities supply informed Reuters the plan had not but been finalised and was being mentioned with the IMF.

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The draft goals to plug an enormous gap within the monetary system and foresees returning simply $25 billion out of a complete $104 billion in laborious forex deposits to savers in U.S. {dollars}. L1N2UD1JU

Lebanon’s banks have been a serious lender to the federal government for many years, serving to to finance a wasteful and corrupt state that went into monetary meltdown in 2019.

The collapse has resulted in depositors largely being shut out of their financial savings and the native forex shedding greater than 90% of its worth.

“This hypothetical draft plan signifies it will possibly get rid of the so-called ‘losses’ so as to stability the books. This method… is a liquidation method and can result in a persistent lack of confidence for generations to return,” the ABL stated in its written responses.

“Aside from what has been printed and reported within the media, we haven’t seen any official draft of any plan ready by the federal government,” it stated, including it had not participated in drafting the blueprint.

Underneath the draft, nearly all of greenback deposits could be transformed to Lebanese kilos at a number of trade charges, together with one that may wipe out 75% of the worth of some deposits. It estimates losses within the monetary sector at $69 billion and units a 15-year timeframe for paying again all depositors.

The ABL’s approval isn’t required for the federal government to undertake and start implementing a plan, however specialists say help from the banking sector might contribute to fixing the disaster.

“If true, this reported method in addressing the losses occurred within the monetary sector isn’t acceptable in any respect, and will certainly not reverse the spiral downhill of the financial system,” the ABL stated.


The ABL stated it will not endorse a plan that may result in a “nominal haircut on prospects’ deposits” or completely wipe out shareholder fairness, however was open to shouldering some losses from Eurobonds restructuring and personal sector loans.

The federal government started talks with the IMF in January as a part of efforts to safe a bailout seen as essential to start charting a path out of the disaster. A viable monetary plan is essential to that course of. A earlier plan drawn up below a authorities in 2020 was shot down by banks, the central financial institution and highly effective political events, ending IMF talks on the time.

An IMF spokesperson stated final week it couldn’t touch upon reviews that the fund had rejected facets of the federal government’s plan in the course of the talks that started in January.

A Lebanese official supply informed Reuters the IMF had requested Lebanese officers to “work on elements of the plan”.

As a part of efforts to plug the $69 billion gap within the monetary system, the draft plan envisions a bail-in of huge depositors to the tune of $12 billion, equal to 72% of shares within the banking sector, thereby lowering shareholders and collectors to lower than a 3rd.

The ABL stated any bail-in needs to be assessed on a case-by-case foundation for every financial institution and may solely come after “we get to a consensual and complete settlement with the federal government, and after the federal government fulfils its authorized obligation to revive Central Financial institution solvency”.

The ABL additionally famous its “sturdy objection” to a proposal for financial institution shareholders to keep up majority shares within the sector in trade for injecting $1 billion in contemporary capital.

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Reporting by Timour Azhari, Laila Bassam and Tom Perry; Enhancing by William Maclean and Nick Macfie

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.


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