What is the banks' actual stance on restructuring law?

Lebanon Economy
2022-12-08 | 08:10
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What is the banks' actual stance on restructuring law?
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2min
What is the banks' actual stance on restructuring law?
One of the reform measures urged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is bank restructuring. 

Still, the parliament has yet to adopt official legislation related to this issue. A step equivalent to this restructuring that should have taken place and has not is the evaluation of the 14 largest banks by a private company. So, what does the Association of Banks say in this regard?

Secretary-General of the Association of Banks, Fadi Khalaf, pointed out that "some analysts believe banks have no interest in moving forward with this draft law to rebalance the financial sector or the law to restructure the banking sector."

Some analysts also added banks would instead maintain the status quo to deplete deposits over the years. However, Khalaf claimed that these statements lack accuracy because the data shows the exact opposite.

He explained that the leading cause of the $27 billion decline in foreign currency deposits since the start of the crisis is the payment of a large part of the loans through checks and bank transfers.

Khalaf added that loans have decreased to roughly $12 billion; thus, the decline in deposits will be restricted to withdrawals in the future, which might amount to $2 to $3 billion yearly. As a result, any supposed "melting" of deposits will take at least 30 years.

Khalaf went on to ask, "With the annual losses it accrues and the downsizing it endures, does the banking sector have the luxury of time to wait for decades? Is envisioning the current depletion lasting for decades in the best interest of the banks impacted by it?"

As a result, he said, "this hypothesis is considered invalid, at least from a practical point of view."

Given that this action is one of the ways to restore confidence in the banking sector, those following up on the banking situation confirm that this is conclusive evidence that banks want to restructure once parliament adopts the law.

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