PRESS RELEASE

Beirut, 21 April 2022 – Following an article published in a newspaper, Banque BEMO organized yesterday a zoom webinar with its stakeholders whereby the Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Riad Obegi gave clarifications and answered all questions raised by the attendants.

The webinar which was moderated by Dr. Fouad Zmokhol, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Management at Saint Joseph University, also included a series of interactive questions on the economic crisis, the banking sector challenges, the Capital Control law, and other related topics.

Dr. Riad Obegi started by exposing the rationale behind this webinar. Transparency is a triple necessity: BEMO is a bank, it is listed on the Beirut Stock Exchange and most importantly, transparency is today essential in the current economic crisis of Lebanon.

As for the leaked information about the family disputes, Dr. Riad Obegi indicated that this may happen in any family. Its origin goes back to the violent trauma of the sudden death of his younger brother. Mistakes have been committed but the dispute will finally be resolved and hard feelings forgiven. 

He added that the Group dates back to 120 years. The whole family is fully committed to the continuity of the Group and of doing business with ethics. There might be differences in opinions but none on the essentials.

This dispute is in fact a wake-up call that governance and ethics are not just ink on paper but should be a constant effort. Because of the family trauma and the economic crisis, the Group might have been distracted from it during those last years but it will resume this endeavor with renewed energy.

Concerning the work and operations of Banque BEMO, Obegi said: “We will always follow the path of our core values ​​on which our Bank is founded. All our employees know that the service of our clients is our top priority. It is true that we do not know what the authorities will do regarding the banking sector but whatever happens we will continue serving our clients to the best of our abilities, up to the last minute and never to betray our values”. 

Dr. Riad Obegi stated that “Integrity is the essence of Trust. Without trust, Lebanon will not get out of its crisis. Integrity entails ethics, transparency, good governance and respecting one’s word”. 

Dr. Obegi concluded “Lebanon will be able to overcome the difficulties but it is essential that depositors are paid back in the currency they deposited, that engagements are respected and that Lebanese collaborate together. 

Finally, Banque BEMO stands firm with its promise: “2022 is the year of Revival. During the last two years, we gathered strength and resolve. Today, we are ready for better days ahead but we will not wait for them passively. We shall make them happen!”

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