A delegation from the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, headed by Dr. Joseph Torbey and members of Messrs. Saad Azhari, Walid Rafael, Tannal Sabah, Nadim Kassar, Mohammad Ali Beyhum and Chahdan Jebeyli, as well as Secretary General Dr. Makram Sader visited Washington DC to follow up the proposed law which was circulated by the media, which includes a list of sanctions dealing with Hezbollah and its close parties.
The visit was prepared by the International Law Office (DLA PIPER), which has been following the interests of the Association of Banks in Lebanon for about five years. The visit included the US House of Representatives, the Senate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Treasury and the Office of Lebanon and Syria in the National Security Council.
During the meetings, our Association made observations on the text of the proposed law and on the negative effects that may ensue and join Lebanon and banking activities in it. The delegation insisted that the current legislation in force is sufficient, thus eliminating the need for any new provisions that may leave inappropriate interpretations, especially since the banks in Lebanon succeeded in applying the rules of compliance under the Lebanese Central Bank and the satisfaction of the international references including the US Treasury. The delegation further explained that the proposed new legislation might require a review of all the successful procedural mechanisms that had been implemented and observed in Lebanon.
Before heading to Washington, the delegation had several working visits with US correspondent banks namely JP Morgan Bank, Bank of New York and Citibank - at their headquarters in New York. Correspondent banks were pleased to deal with the Lebanese banking system based on two factors: first, the good risk management applied by banks operating in Lebanon; second, the commitment of Lebanese banks towards the international banking standards, including US ones. Correspondent US Executives praised the transparency of the relationship and the speed and accuracy of information on banking operations.
Finally, our Association would like to confirm that the organized efforts that have been dedicated over the past years are aimed at serving the Lebanese economy in its external financial relations and thus serving the banks’ clients, residents and non-residents, both individuals and institutions.