The Association of Banks in Lebanon on Thursday denounced what it called a “campaign against the banking sector” by “most politicians,” a day after President Michel Aoun criticized the country’s banks.
“Most politicians resort to this campaign when the crisis toughens” in a bid to conceal “the reasons behind what happened and is still happening to the country,” ABL said in a statement.
Reminding that “it was not banks which used to stress the pegging of the national currency rate in every ministerial policy statement over the past 30 years,” ABL said banks also did not encourage the state to increasingly borrow from the funds deposited at the central bank.
ABL also reminded that it was the state and not banks which issued treasury loans, approved subsidization policies and impeded the issuance of capital control laws.
The Association also slammed the “policies of the waste of funds and the irresponsible taxing and customs laws.”
“Banks were not behind the decisions of arbitrary employment in state institutions and they did not accumulate the deficit in the balance of payments,” the statement added.
“The political crisis, and the obstruction and vacuum it created, remains the main reason behind the financial and banking crisis in Lebanon,” the statement added.
Aoun had on Wednesday said that banks’ responsibility is “evident” and that they “cannot evade the truth.”
“The people put their money with you and you used it irresponsibly to achieve fast gains, without a ‘distribution of risks’ as required by the profession’s rules,” the president added.