The Secretariat General
Participation of the Association to a number of Councils and Commissions
It is the technical and administrative organ in charge of the business executive and daily responsibility, on the basis of the decisions and the instructions of the Board of Directors, under the direct supervision of the Secretary General.
As for the Secretary General, the Board of Directors designates him/her, with the majority of eight members at least. Then the Board submits the name of the designated association to the General Assembly for endorsement. In case of refusal of such endorsement, the decision for the designation of the Secretary General is considered as null and void.
The Secretary General heads the technical and administrative organ of the Association. The secretariat general also designates the employees and the experts who are needed for the good functioning of the work. The secretariat general submits periodical reports to the Board of Directors and prepares the annual budget project and the report of closing accounts. Moreover, the Secretary General takes part in the meetings of all consultative commissions and provides assistance to all the members of the Association in their professional relationships, among themselves and with the ABL, the Banque du Liban (Central Bank) and the governmental institutions.
The structure of the Secretariat General
comprises 4 directorates:
- Administrative and financial directorate
- Directorate of studies and statistics
- Directorate of training
- Directorate of communication and public relations
Communication and PR
The Association of Banks in Lebanon is represented by a large number of Councils and Commissions in Lebanon, among which:
- The Social and Economic Council
- The Board of Directors of the National Social Security Fund
- The financial commission of the National Social Security Fund
- The Board of Directors of the National Agency of Employment (Ministry of Labor)
- The Board of Directors of the Institute for Industrial Research
- The National Commission to enact the right to work for the disabled (Ministry of Labor)
- The National Commission of Voluntarism (Ministry of Social Affairs)
- The National Commission to facilitate Transportation and Trade (Ministry of Trade and Economy)
- National Coordination Commission for the project of the Lebanese Center for the rational use of energy (Ministry of Energy)
- Joint Commission between the Ministry of Finance and economic institutions
- Three commissions within the Chamber of International Trade – Lebanon: The Commission of Environment, the Banking Commission, and the Anti-Corruption and Bribery commission in the international trade operations.
- Center of International Arbitration
- Union of Arab Banks
- Banking Control Commission (by virtue of Law No 28/67)
- Higher Banking Commission (by virtue of Law No 28/67)
- The National Council of Environment (Ministry of Environment)
- The Steering Committee of the fight against pollution (Ministry of Environment)
- Member of the Management Committee of the National Program of the reforestration of 40 millions trees (Ministry of Agriculture)
On the media level, the Association sees to strengthen communications and relationships with officials responsible for economic issues in various Lebanese mass medias, thus providing an ongoing and overall coverage of the Association’s activities and the publishing of the Association’s positions. The Association publishes a monthly bulletin distributed within Lebanon and the Almanac of Banks in Lebanon which is updated annually. The Directorate of studies and statistics prepare a monthly periodical in English (The Economic Letter), which comprises a concise presentation for the development of the most important sectors in the Lebanese economy, with statistical tables, distributed over a number of banks, institutions, personalities and establishments in Lebanon and abroad, the Key Indicators are also prepared on monthly basis; the evolution of the portfolio of Treasury Bills in LBP and foreign currencies is also developed and the Annual Report. The Association publishes the annual training and rehabilitation program and the series of “The Assocation’s files” which comprises research and studies for financial and banking affairs.
Development of Banking Human Resources
As for documentation and the internal library, the Association has a databank and a media archive whose contents go back to 1990, in addition to a public library, which is rich in specialized publications and periodicals in three languages (Arabic, French and English). Therefore, the Association can put at the disposal of the banking cadres and specialized researchers a sufficient series of documents and references which may be useful to them.
The Association continues to update the contents of its website (www.abl.org.lb). The websurfer can then have the possibility to read, in three languages (Arabic, French, and English), the banks’ guide, the structure of the Association and its Secretariat General, the structure, management and commissions of the Council. S/He also has the possibility to access various services it provides, activities it organizes, and publications it publishes, in addition to the text of the collective labor agreement which governs the professional relationship between the banks’ administrations and their employees.
According to the statistics at ABL, the overall number of employees in the Lebanese banking sector at the end of 2012 amounts to 22637 employees; 60.5% of these employees are married and benefit from marriage, education and health allowances and indemnities for 20884 children recorded on their name. Among the major characteristics of the Lebanese banking labor force, women represent 45.6% of the overall labor force, 57.8% of our employees are below 40 and around 72.2% are university graduates.
Collective Labor Agreement
Banks concentrate their efforts on the development and rehabilitation of their human resources, first, to be able to go in pair with the current development of the banking industry; second, to face the expected future challenges, whether on the regional or on the international level, in the light of the economy globalization and the eventual constitution of regional markets, blocks, and conventions.
From this perspective, the banking sector has seen to consider the training and rehabilitation of banking employees as a top priority on two levels: on an individual level, within the regulatory structure of every bank, and on a sectoral level, on the level of the ABL, as a whole.In this regard, the Association is active on two levels:
a-The Directorate of Training, which is within the structure of the Secretariat General of ABL, which organizes on a yearly basis a series of training sessions, seminars and workshops, whether at its training center in the ABL building, or at a hotel, when necessary. At the beginning of the year and on the basis of the banks’ propositions, the Directorate sets up its annual activity program to be submitted for discussion and approval to the human resources and social affairs commission at the Association and to the Board of Directors, then notifies it to the banks, calling them to designate some of their employees, according to their ranks and their type of work, as well as their professional prospects, to take part in sessions and workshops included in the mentioned program.
It is noteworthy that the Directorate of Training cooperates with a great number of worldwide banking training institutions (CFPB-France, Belgian Association of Banks, British Institute for Financial Services, European Network for Banking Training, etc.) and that the duration of the sessions organized by this Directorate varies between one day and 10 weeks, in which employees of all grades take part: administration, high- and mid- level management, and regular employees.
b- Center of Banking Studies: This Center, created in 1967 to provide training and education, by its nature, an academic professional training center, subject to a special system under the supervision of the Board of Directors, headed by the President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon. It is composed of six members, equally representing Saint-Joseph University and the Association of Banks in Lebanon. The headquarters of the Center is located in the campus of Saint – Joseph University, Beirut, Huvelin Street.
Regarding training, the Center holds specialized training sessions in Beirut and in the other Mohafazats and calls the banks to designate some of their employees to take part in such sessions.
Regarding education, which represents the main activity to the Center of Banking Studies, the Center holds annually entrance exams for the banks’ employees wishing to join one of its programs: the DESB (Diplôme d'Etudes Spécialisées de Banque) or the DSGB (Diplôme Supérieur de Gestion Bancaire). The study duration for each diploma varies from one to three years and ends with the graduation of the successful elements, obtaining a diploma certified by the University’s administration and by ABL.
Recently, the Center became the Higher Institute for Banking Studies (ISEB) after obtaining the license from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The Institute delivers the "Bachelor degree" and the "Master degree" in banking studies. Courses have started in the beginning of the academic year 2013-2014.
There is a collective labor agreement governing the relationship between the banks’ administrations and employees. It is the first of its type in Lebanon and in the Arab world, the execution of which started at the beginning of 1972 after the signature of the first formula on November 22, 1971. The said convention stipulates the positions of employees within the banking sector, as well as their scale of salaries, allowances, indemnities, bonuses, vacations, and loans granted to them. It also stipulates the conditions of general professional discipline.
Coordination between the Lebanese economic institutions
The Convention stipulates, in its last version (2008-2009), an amendment of the ranks and scale of salaries of employees, insisting on the evaluation of the employees’ performance, on their ongoing training and on the link between the ranks and the classification of positions. The Convention also allows the banking sector’s employees to benefit from various allowances and compensations, as the additional family compensation, the educational grants (schools and universities) which are higher than those granted in both the public and private sectors, and transportation compensation calculated on the basis of the distance between the place of work and the place of residence, which are the best adopted compensations in this regard, in addition to the grants for marriage and birth.
In the same context, the Convention stipulates mechanisms to provide periodical increases to the employees’ wages and the principles to benefit from the different special, administrative and illness leaves, and to the medical care allowances (medical and hospitalization costs), exceeding, by a certain proportion, those granted by the National Social Security Fund.
The Convention defines the working hours within the banking sector, the general discipline rules, and the types of awards and penalties. It also maintains the right of the representatives elected by the employees in the exercise of the syndicate work. At the same time, it stipulates a joint commission of mediation and arbitration from both parties, to settle any conflict which may emerge about the interpretation of the Convention’s texts.
There is a special annex to the collective labor agreement regarding the system of university, residence and personal loans, granted by the banks to its employees (the types, the conditions, and the terms).
In the last amendment introduced to the collective labor agreement, the latter adopted a system for the employees to benefit from hospitalization after reaching the age of retirement. This system gives an additional assertion to the depth of the banks’ and ABL’s commitment, by providing the best means of a decent life for employees in this sector for life.
This Convention which is renewed every two years following bilateral negotiations expresses the intention of the Association to consolidate the fruitful and constructive cooperation between the parties in the banking sector, in order to guarantee, for the employees in the banking sector, decent living conditions and for the banking institution, stability and growth to strengthen the sector’s role in promoting the country and achieving socio-economic development.
The Association of Banks in Lebanon is a founding and active member in the gathering of the Lebanese Economic Institutions. Since the creation of this gathering, the Association has taken part efficiently in the drafting of working papers or the drafting of unified concepts expressing the opinion of these institutions regarding projects, procedures, and attitudes raised by the official authorities. Within this frame, the Association has, with the remaining economic institutions, clear and defined positions regarding the economic and financial reforming programs, accompanying Paris Conference in its three phases, and regarding the different political and security events exerting pressure on the economic life within the country and impeding production and growth. The Association, in addition to the economic commission, continues to exert democratic pressure, through press conferences and statements, and through objective visits and dialogues with the different officials, in order to consolidate civil peace and anchor stability, as two necessary conditions to achieve increasing growth, as well as balanced and sustainable development for the whole country.
Last Updated on January 09, 2017