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Salame explains how banks contained impact of 2011 events

Central Bank Governor Riad Salame said that Lebanese banks abide by international standards and rules and have good relations with correspondent banks around the world,have invested significant resources in recent years in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism in its monthly meeting with the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL).

 

He highlighted the close cooperation between ABL and Central Bank that helped contain impact of 2011 events such as the case of the Lebanese Canadian Bank, the funding of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and the developments in the region.

 

He added that the agreement to raise the capital of adequacy ratio of Lebanese banks to 12% by end of 2015, constitutes a point of strength for the sector. Also he stated that the Central Bank has declined to raise the ceiling of loans exempted from reserves requirements such as mortgages, environmentally-friendly projects  and loans for higher education and others. He attributed the decision to maintaining an adequate balance between the needed level of liquidity in Lebanese pounds and other bank lending and investments.

 

In parallel, ABL informed Central Bank that tax authorities have started to impose a 10% tax on off balance sheet assets that banks manage on behalf of clients. It said the procedure imposes and deducts a direct tax irrespective whether the portfolios under management posted profit or losses. It warned that this approach by tax authorities will lead this segment of bank’s activities to leave the country. Lebanon This Week, Byblos Bank’ economic publication
 

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Beirut

Migration to cities is increasing so much that, by 2050, the UN predicts that approximately two thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities.

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