Lebanon Businessnews News

LCB case settled
Bank to pay $102 million to US
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The Lebanese Canadian Bank (LCB) has agreed to pay a $102 million settlement to resolve the money-laundering lawsuit filed against it by the US.

Governor of the Central Bank Riad Salameh said the settlement signifies the closure of the case. “This indicates that the general trend is heading for a more realistic and better way of dealing with the local financial sector,” said Salameh.

Most of the LCB’s assets were acquired by SGBL in a $580 million deal after the US Treasury Department designated the LCB as a "primary money-laundering concern" in February 2012.

In connection with the purchase, $150 million were placed in an escrow account at Banque Libano-Française (BLF). In August 2012, the US government seized $150 million from a US-based correspondent of BLF as a substitute for the funds held in escrow in Lebanon. The $102 million would come out of the seized amount. SGBL will receive the remaining $48 million of the seized funds.

The settlement order requires the LCB to pay back to SGBL the $102 million settlement amount. The LCB is also required to pay SGBL provisions for additional payments based on separate agreements between the two parties.

Another settlement was reached last week with the Hassan Ayash Exchange Company, which was also facing a US money-laundering suit. The local exchange firm agreed to pay $720,000.
Reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Jun 26, 2013
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