The Central Bank of Lebanon agrees to liquidate a bank because of its links to the terrorist Hezbollah
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's central bank said on Thursday it had approved a request for liquidation from Jamal Terrace Bank, which the United States imposed sanctions last month.
The Central Bank said in a statement that the value of the assets of Jamal Trust Bank and the value of its contribution to the National Deposit Guarantee Corporation is sufficient in principle to repay the full deposits and obligations.
He added that the funds of all depositors in the bank will be secured on maturity.
At the end of August, the US Treasury Department announced in a statement that it had imposed sanctions on Jamal Trust Bank, which it accuses of providing banking services to Hezbollah.
Washington classifies the bank, which has been operating in Lebanon for several decades, as a "terrorist" organization for providing financial services to Hezbollah's executive board and the Iran-based Martyrs Foundation.
The bank is accused of allowing Hezbollah to use accounts to pay money to its representatives and their families and "hiding its active banking relationship with several organizations of the Martyrs Foundation."
The organization, which has been on the US sanctions list since 2007, is a semi-public Iranian entity that transfers financial support to Hezbollah in particular.
Four insurance companies have been blacklisted.
"Corrupt financial institutions such as Jamal Trust pose a direct threat to the integrity of the Lebanese financial system," said Treasury Undersecretary in charge of counterterrorism financing Segal Mandelker.
The sanctions would freeze the bank's assets in the United States and ban transactions through the US financial system.
The Treasury Department urged the Lebanese government to mitigate the impact of these sanctions on "innocent bank account holders who do not know that Hezbollah is putting their savings at risk."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the decision, saying that the rating of Jamal Trust Bank reflects the United States' determination to combat Hezbollah's illegal and terrorist activities in Lebanon.
He continued: We will continue to target people and institutions involved in funding and support for the party.