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Lawmakers urge gov’t to intervene to return $1.2b deposited in Lebanese banks

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Several lawmakers have called on the government to intervene to return millions of US dollars that are deposited in Lebanese banks and belong to Jordanian individuals, institutions, and companies.

In a memorandum sent to the Lower House Speaker Abdul Karim Al-Dughmi on Monday, deputies said that the government should intervene to repatriate a total of $1.2 billion, equivalent to JD840 million, that were deposited by Jordanian individuals, institutions, and companies in Lebanese banks and that have been frozen on the recommendation of the Central Bank of Lebanon, funds that would support the local economy and could be deposited with Jordanian banks.

The deputies said they understand the economic situation that Lebanon is going through, “but this does not absolve us of the duty to ask the government to intervene quickly to return the funds”.

Last year, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Banks in Jordan Wissam Fattouh said in a statement that he does not expect Lebanese banks to go bankrupt.

Instead, Fattouh said that Lebanese banks will likely undergo mergers or acquisitions as a result of the crisis

He also affirmed that “the money of Lebanese or Jordanian depositors or others will not be lost”.

Since the autumn of 2019, Lebanese banks have largely prevented ordinary depositors from accessing their dollar savings or transferring them abroad. The majority of foreign clients, including Jordanians, deposited their money in Lebanon following the 2008 global financial crisis, when Lebanese banks were offering interest rates that were at least three times higher than what was being offered by local banks. اضافة اعلان



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