Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon: Depositors withdraw 4 billion from banks
Economy News _ Baghdad
Riad Salameh, governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon (CBL), said during a meeting that data showed that "depositors ... have withdrawn $ 4 billion to their homes from banks" since last September, Reuters reported.
Acting Trade Minister Mansour Btaish told Lebanese media he, along with others, the governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon and commercial banks, had demanded at a recent meeting to cut interest rates by almost half.
"We have asked to reduce the interest rates in Lebanese pounds and the dollar by 50 percent, which is an important step because it reduces the burden on the economy and public debt," Bteich told Al Jadeed TV.
The meeting was held to discuss ways to deal with the deep financial crisis. Butesh said the meeting ruled out a devaluation of deposits or "manipulation of the official currency rate".
Commercial banks began offering high interest rates of 14 percent on long-term deposits earlier this year.
The Banque du Liban used high interest rates to attract the dollar from commercial banks and maintain the government's finances. Lebanon faces one of the world's largest public debt burdens.
Outside the banks, people are protesting the policies of the Banque du Liban, which they say have stopped providing loans to ordinary citizens after interest rates rise.