No new U.S. sanctions reported on banking sector. Banking and Parliamentary delegations return reassured - Lebanon

No new U.S. sanctions
reported on banking sector
Banking and Parliamentary

delegations return reassured

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A delegation of banking sector representatives who recently visited the U.S. have succeeded in convincing American officials to shield local banks from the fallout of any potential financial sanctions on Hezbollah, according to the Chairman of the Association of Banks Joseph Torbey.

The delegation has met U.S. lawmakers involved in the new draft law that is under preparation and that includes a list of sanctions targeting Hezbollah and its associates. The officials that the delegation has met included members of the Senate and the Congress as well as senior officials at the U.S. Treasury.

Torbey said that they have told the U.S. officials that incumbent legislation is enough and that there is no need for a new one that could be misinterpreted and may cause harm to Lebanon and its banking sector. The new legislation, if approved, will necessitate a reconsideration of all successful regulations that have been implemented in Lebanon, he said.

The U.S. officials were convinced by the proposals of the Lebanese delegation that have underscored the necessity of maintaining security and monetary stability in Lebanon, according to Torbey.

He said that U.S. officials have shown their admiration of the Lebanese banking sector’s professionalism and performance in terms of compliance with regulations and sanctions pertaining to fighting money laundering, terrorism, and tax evasion.

Torbey said that they have fully coordinated with the Lebanese parliamentary delegation that was also visiting Washington.

According to Annahar newspaper, MP Yassin Jaber said that they are more confident that the U.S. administration will take into account the dangers that might hit Lebanon due to the proposed sanctions.

An earlier draft bill by U.S. Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has been deemed as a non-starter and has been withdrawn according to the Parliamentary delegation remarks in An Nahar.

MP Mohamed Kabbani said that he was pleased of what he has heard from the U.S. officials who were listening to the delegation with an ‘understanding attitude’.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: May 26, 2017