Lebanon Businessnews News

Deposits are secure at
Jammal Trust Bank
Liquidity is available

to meet the needs of legitimate accounts

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All lawful deposits with Jammal Trust Bank (JTB) remain secure until their maturity date and liquidity is available to meet the needs of the bank’s legitimate depositors, said Riad Salameh, Governor of the Central Bank (BDL).

Salameh’s statement came following an announcement by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned JTB, alleging that it knowingly facilitated banking activities for Hezbollah.

JTB said: “In the days to come, we shall work in close coordination with BDL, the Special Investigation Commission and other relevant bodies in this respect to safeguard the interest of JTB’s depositaries and clientele.”

The bank said that it emphatically denies each and every allegation on which OFAC apparently acted. It said that its commitment to abide strictly by BDL’s rules and regulations as well as international rules and regulations on countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism is unwavering. The bank said: “JTB shall take all appropriate steps in order to clear its good name and shall appeal OFAC’s decision before OFAC itself and all relevant forums.”

According to the Association of Banks (ABL), OFAC’s sanction will not affect the local banking sector or JTB’s depositors. The ABL said in another statement that rumors claiming that some local banks are in a similar position to JTB are incorrect. It said that the standing of Lebanese banks vis-à-vis the international banking system is sound and that the banks comply with local and international laws and regulations.

OFAC also sanctioned JTB’s local subsidiaries Trust Insurance, Trust Insurance Services, and Trust Life Insurance Company.

The U.S. Treasury said: “All property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” Individuals that engage in certain transactions with designated JTB entities and individuals may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.

OFAC’s regulations prohibit dealings by U.S. citizens or within the United States (including transactions transiting the U.S.) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

JTB’s total assets stood at nearly $1.1 billion at the end of 2017. The bank has 25 local branches in addition to representative offices in London, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Aug 30, 2019
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