On October 12, 2021, the ABL Board of Directors discussed the rejected, recurrent and systematic attacks carried out on Bank of Beirut S.A.L., its employees and its administration, especially on its Chairman and the Head of the Association of Banks in Lebanon Dr. Salim Sfeir, by parties claiming that they represent the depositors. These attacks have been carried out lately on the Chairman’s residence and Bank of Beirut’s headquarter, and aimed at forcefully trespassing on these properties, which forced the protectors of the headquarter and its visitors to resist, in order to defend themselves and the bank’s employees and clients, especially depositors.
The Board of Directors also recorded in particular the threats featured on one of the TV channels and made by an individual claiming to speak in the name of depositors, and that suggest closing Bank of Beirut on Thursday 14 October, 2021, and attacking the bank and its employees with their children, and taking them as “their legitimate aim.”
The Association of Banks in Lebanon has the voice record and threat at the disposal of the security forces, the state, and its authorities, which have the responsibility of protecting citizens and their properties. The ABL calls them to assume their responsibilities when it comes to preserving security and safety, especially that the concerned group of people who are driven by suspicious interests does not represent the depositors - quite the contrary - works against their interests, among which is the well-functioning of the banking sector in an effort to restore depositors’ rights.
Since the ABL is keen to avoid damage and harming its employees and depositors who could be present at banks’ branches on that day, in order to avoid the strife pursued by some exploiters, and as a denouncement of the crimes that they did not hesitate to commit, such as harming and threatening banks’ employees and their children in a total absence of the state and its authorities, the Association of Banks in Lebanon announces that all banks’ branches will be closed on Thursday 14 October 2021. This measure taken will hopefully contribute to reasonable, logical and peaceful dialogue for the sake of all parties’ interests, foremost among them the depositors, whereas it is a vital priority to preserve their rights in any solution reached, as the Association has been reiterating since the beginning of the crisis.