Lebanese banks have once again lost in a case filed by an NGO, learns-o, on June 1. However, like previous decisions, this decision is unlikely to be imposed on these establishments.
Thus, following a complaint filed by the parents of Jad Youssef Jammoul, Ali Hussein Jamoul, Daniel and Abbas Ali Jaber, Lebanese students abroad due to the refusal of Fransabank and BLOM Bank to transfer the sums necessary for their schooling , Judge Ahmad Mezher of the Nabatiyeh Urgent Affairs Court decided to impose a fine of 10 million Lebanese pounds per day of delay in addition to having to transfer the requested funds.
This is the second decision of this judge in favor of Lebanese students abroad. A similar decision had already been taken by him on March 24, 2020. Judge Ahmad Mezher then decided to confiscate Fransabank property due to the refusal of this bank to proceed with the transfer of the sums necessary for the payment of the tuition of a Lebanese student based abroad for the pursuit of his studies in Belarus.
As a reminder, Lebanese banking institutions, via a decision of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL), introduced in early November 2019 and a ban on transferring funds abroad, due to a major liquidity crisis. However, these measures are considered illegal by the legal experts, indicating that only the Banque du Liban (BDL) or the Lebanese authorities themselves can take such a decision and that it is a unilateral breach of the contract between the parties. banks and their customers without informing their customers and setting up application deadlines.
Among those affected by these measures, Lebanese students living abroad who are thus prevented from being able to pay their tuition fees or their accommodation.
On September 30, the parliament adopted a law allowing the transfer of funds to foreign establishments of Lebanese students already present there or on proof of invoice for rental of accommodation up to the threshold of USD 10,000. annually.
This law came into force on October 19 after the President of the Republic signed the decree establishing it.
Faced with the law, the Lebanese banks replied that only a decision of the Banque du Liban could oblige them to do so, obliging the governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salamé to publish the circular 13297 calling on the banking establishments to respect the law 193 adopted on the 14th. October 2020 establishing a student dollar, this after several demonstrations, in particular in front of the headquarters of the central bank.
For the time being, the Lebanese banks are still refusing to apply the new legislation, without the Banque du Liban – as the supervisory body of the latter – yet intervening to force them to do so, the Banque du Liban being satisfied only with indicate that $ 254 million.