| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Sfeir: Political officials got used to casting their failures on others

Head of Banks’ Association in Lebanon, Dr. Salim Sfeir, pointed out that “the banking sector, pointed out in an interview with “Arabian Business, that both the Banking sector and the private one, will be a key driver to pull Lebanon out of the economic abyss.”

He explained that “inflation and the loss of value of deposits’ value, as well as the failure to pass the Capital Control Law, are all the responsibility of the unqualified government, which failed to manage the crisis.” It affected all aspects of the economy and its sectors, creating unprecedented challenges that require exceptional solutions, while the political class is unable to form a new government.”

Sfeir considered that “the banking sector, that the only hope for restoring prosperity to Lebanon,  can be achieved through its financing capabilities and communication with abroad, in addition to political stability.”

He stressed that “there is no exit from the financial and monetary crisis except through negotiation and agreement on a plan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The international institution will constitute a guarantee for the start of the reform process, and the financial aid packages estimated at about 10 billion dollars will constitute a basis for restoring the economic movement and the flow of cash throughout the economy. The agreement with the International Monetary Fund will push the countries friendly to Lebanon to implement their commitments and plans to help Lebanon, and will also bring Lebanese and foreign investors back to the country.

Sfeir revealed that ” Banks’ Association in Lebanon has been calling, since the beginning of the crisis, for the necessity of approving the Capital Control project to protect depositors’ money and state finances, by keeping the foreign exchange that Lebanon needs inside the country.”

He added: Politicians in Lebanon are accustomed to blaming others for their failure, but despite all the campaigns and distortion of facts that were practiced on banks, which led to the erosion of confidence in a sector which formed a pillar and a source of pride for the Lebanese economy, still the banking sector proved once again that it is capable of resistance.

Sfeir concluded: Today, after a series of circulars by the Banque du Liban that tried to reduce the effects of the crisis, we look forward to implementing circular 158, which will relieve a large segment of small depositors, by gradually restoring their money in dollars.