The Association of Banks in Lebanon warned against the use by the Bank of Lebanon of its mandatory reserves to continue to finance the subsidy program for the purchase of basic necessities or the rationing program for the most vulnerable populations. vulnerable in the face of the economic crisis.

This considers that “the mandatory reserve must in no case be compromised, because it is an integral part of customer deposits with banks”. Consequently, it holds the State responsible for the use of the Bank of Lebanon’s bank deposits in recent years. She also believes that the use of reserve requirements could hinder the revival of economic and financial activity once the next government is formed with the support of the international community.

Also, the Bank of Lebanon is responsible “for having infringed the compulsory reserve and for submitting to the pressure exerted on it by the political authorities, contrary to the terms and the spirit of the monetary and credit law. , where the purpose of the reserve requirement is limited to the needs of the banking sector. ”

It considers that the reduction in the rate allocated to the Mandatory Reserve obliges the Banque du Liban to return the amounts to depositors via the banks.

The statement said the ABL “is currently studying measures that can be used to prevent breach of the reserve requirement by the state or the central bank.”

This information comes as the governor of the Banque du Liban Riad Salamé – until then an unwavering ally of local financial institutions – made the banks responsible for the financial mismanagement of the deposits for which they were responsible.

Moreover, observers note that despite this statement believing that a lowering of the mandatory reserve rate should allow funds to be returned to depositors via the banks, the latter do not seem to wish to allow their customers to freely dispose of the funds. sums deposited since the introduction of informal capital controls in November 2019. Likewise, they note that priority should be given, no longer to the financial sector, but simply to enabling the population to survive due to current circumstances. As a reminder, nearly 77% of the population no longer eats when it is finished, including 33% of children according to the authors of a UNICEF report.

Already shortages of fuels, essential drugs for people with chronic diseases or even people with cancer, and even some essential foods are felt on the local market with the Bank of Lebanon accused of not granting the lines credit needed to purchase these goods.

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