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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Banks to abide by US laws targeting Hezbollah
The Central Bank (BDL) has instructed local banks and financial institutions to abide by the U.S. law approved in December 2015 that aims to prevent the financing of Hezbollah.
The banks are required to immediately inform BDL’s Special Investigation Commission (SIC) of any measures they decide to take in application of this law, especially when they intend to freeze or close any of their customers’ accounts, BDL said in its Basic Circular 137 released Tuesday. Other measures that need notifying the SIC include the banks’ refusal to deal with some clients or to open an account for them. Banks also have to give reasons for these measures.
The Central Bank said its decision aims to safeguard national interests and to prevent banks from engaging in arbitrary and de-risking measures that could harm depositors and customers.
BDL’s move is part of the country’s overall efforts to comply by international regulations. In 2015, the Parliament passed and amended laws regulating money laundering, terrorism financing, tax fraud, and cross-border fund transfers.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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May 04, 2016
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