President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon: depositors' money is reserved and there is no need to panic
Economy News - Baghdad
SALIM Sfeir, president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, told a news conference on Saturday that "depositors' money is reserved and there is no need to panic" in an attempt to allay concerns about restrictions on some withdrawals imposed since nationwide protests.
Lebanon is already facing its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war, exacerbated by a wave of protests against the ruling elite on October 17 that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on October 29.
Since they reopened a week ago, banks have been trying to avoid capital flight by blocking most cash transfers abroad and restricting foreign currency withdrawals, although the central bank has not announced any formal capital restrictions.
The press conference followed a meeting with President Michel Aoun, the ministers of finance and economy, the governor of Banque du Liban and other officials on the economic situation in the country.
Over the past few days, importers of fuel, wheat and medicines have said they have difficulties securing the foreign currency needed for import.
But Al Jadeed TV quoted Lebanese Economy Minister Mansour Btaish as saying that Central Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh confirmed that "oil, medicine and flour (flour) funds are insured."
"The Governor of the Banque du Liban, in cooperation with the Association of Banks, is requested to facilitate the needs of depositors, especially small depositors, to maintain their economic and social conditions, in addition to the necessary facilities to ensure the sustainability of the productive sectors," Sfeir said at the press conference after the meeting.