Al Baraka عربي

Al Baraka Group Calls for the Return of US$350 Million Equivalent of Assets Held by the Central Bank of Lebanon

Manama I November 24, 2022

Al Baraka Group B.S.C. (“ABG” / the “Group”) today called on the Central Bank of Lebanon for the return of assets equivalent to US$350 Million belonging to its subsidiary Al Baraka Bank Lebanon (“ABL” / the “Bank”). In doing so, it again strongly refutes and condemns the continued misinformation and allegations being made against its subsidiary by the Central Bank of Lebanon and its Governor.
On 17 November 2022, the Central Bank of Lebanon seized control of ABL citing non-compliance with certain regulations including submission of restructuring plans for the Bank and the meeting of demands from the Central Bank of Lebanon for ABL’s shareholders to inject more capital.  
As the Group has already stated, ABG outright rejects the Central Bank of Lebanon’s interpretation of the situation and underscores the inability of ABL, or any other bank in Lebanon, to propose or undertake any viable restructuring in the continued absence of a credible and holistic plan for the restructuring of the banking industry as a whole, which the Central Bank of Lebanon has failed to provide despite the ongoing deterioration of the financial sector and the devastating conditions it has created for citizens of Lebanon and its economy.
In an interview given on 21 November 2022, to the Al Hurra news channel, the Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon has made inaccurate statements on the financial position and solvency of ABL. Contrary to his claims that ABL lacks the liquidity to normalise banking operations, the Bank has the equivalent of US$350 Million (representing more than 80% of its assets) placed with the Central Bank of Lebanon, out of which US$140 Million in current accounts.
The Central Bank of Lebanon, despite repeated requests by ABL, has continued to withhold these assets representing the deposits of ABL’s customers. At the same time, the Central Bank of Lebanon has continued to pressurize the Bank and its shareholders for the injection of more capital while refusing to account for the whereabouts of ABL’s significant and strong current assets held with the Central Bank of Lebanon, which are more than adequate for the resumption of normalised banking operations and to support the Bank’s ability to provide customers with access to their funds.
Commenting, Houssem Ben Haj Amor, Group CEO at ABG, said, “We continue to be dismayed by the action of the Central Bank of Lebanon and recent statements by its Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Supreme Banking Authority which issued the decision to seize control of ABL.  As we have stated, ABL has some US$350 Million equivalent of assets, belonging to our depositors and the Group, held with the Central Bank of Lebanon, which has refused to return to ABL.  We call on the concerned officials to clarify the fate of these deposits. The problem facing ABL and its customers is one that is impacting all banks in Lebanon and cannot be resolved without urgent action from the Central Bank of Lebanon to produce and deliver a comprehensive restructuring plan that begins with the return of assets it is withholding and the injection of much needed liquidity into the banking system.”
ABG continues to take action to fully assess its legal options and avenues for recourse both within and outside Lebanon in order to continue to protect the rights and interests of its shareholders and customers.
We use cookies to improve your experience on the website as they enable you to enjoy certain features on the website such as messages tailored to your needs. They also help us understand how the site is being used so that we can continuously improve it. Find our more and set your cookie preference here. By continuing to use our website you consent to using cookies.