Lebanese banks protest as judge blocks lenders from moving money abroad – Reuters.com

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Banks staged a two-day strike this week in demonstration against what they called arbitrary judicial choices.
Raya Hassan, chairman of the board of Bankmed, said the decision would result in Lebanese banks being separated from banks abroad, speaking in an interview with broadcaster MTV.
Previously this month, Aoun froze the properties of Bank Audi, Bank of Beirut, Blom Bank, Bankmed and SGBL and members of their boards while she investigates deals the banks undertook with the reserve bank. read more
She also prohibited the heads of their boards from travel. check out more
In a separate action, Aoun released a travel restriction for the chairman of Creditbank and froze all the banks properties.
She has actually not charged any of the parties discussed with any criminal activity.
In an open letter to the public prosector, Akram Azoury, the lawyer for the Association of Banks in Lebanon, said the step “touches the core of banking work” and would damage “what is left of self-confidence in the banking sector”.
Lebanon has been bogged down in among the worlds sharpest ever monetary crises since 2019, when the economy collapsed under the weight of a huge public debt caused by decades of state corruption and waste, and the unsustainable way it was funded.
Depositors have been largely frozen out of hard currency accounts ever since, and the Lebanese currency has actually lost more than 90% of its value.
Aouns newest choice was based a legal problem submitted by an activist group “individuals wish to reform the system” which stated the move was to prevent deposits being moved out of the nation.

BEIRUT, March 24 (Reuters) – A Lebanese judge on Thursday instructed custom-mades authorities to avoid six banks from moving cash out of Lebanon, according to a copy of the choice seen by Reuters, taking further actions versus lending institutions whose assets she has already ordered frozen.
A lawyer for the Lebanese banking association urged the public district attorney to halt application of the choice by Judge Ghada Aoun, saying the law did not provide her the power to restrict the liberty to deliver cash and the relocation would add to the degeneration of the Lebanese pounds worth against the dollar.
Thursdays decision uses to Bank Audi, Bank of Beirut, Creditbank, SGBL, Blom Bank and Bankmed.

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Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Kirsten Donovan
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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