Lebanon Parliament Passes Amendments to Banking Secrecy Legislation

(Reuters) – Lebanon’s parliament on Tuesday handed long-awaited amendments to a banking secrecy legislation, in response to a Reuters witness, in step one in direction of reforms required by the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF).

Nevertheless, the amendments have been watered down from the unique proposal, main one of many architects of the nation’s financial restoration to say he would search suggestions from the IMF.

Lebanon and the IMF signed a staff-level settlement in April for $3 billion in funding to ease the nation’s financial disaster, described by the World Financial institution as among the many high three monetary meltdowns for the reason that Industrial Revolution.

The help package deal is conditional on conditions together with a banking restructuring technique, capital controls, a 2022 funds and a reformed banking secrecy legislation.

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The invoice, learn out in parliament’s first normal session since elections in Might, doesn’t carry banking secrecy as a complete.

It permits some authorities our bodies to carry secrecy particularly in instances of prison investigations, together with in illicit enrichment, cash laundering and terrorism financing.

The unique invoice would have allowed banking secrecy to be lifted to research “all monetary crimes,” however parliament voted to take away that language thus limiting the legislation’s scope.

Deputy prime minister Saade Chami, the architect of the nation’s monetary restoration roadmap, mentioned he did not agree with the model of the legislation handed on Tuesday.

He tried to talk a number of occasions through the session however was drowned out by lawmakers.

Chami instructed Reuters he would ship the legislation to the IMF to substantiate whether or not it met its expectations.

The IMF’s workers stage settlement had referred to as for a brand new legislation “according to worldwide requirements to struggle corruption and take away impediments to efficient banking sector restructuring and supervision, tax administration, in addition to detection and investigation of economic crimes, and asset restoration.”

(Reporting by Timour Azhari Writing by Maya Gebeily; Enhancing by Catherine Evans and Mark Potter)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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