The Syrian government has recently permitted the operation of three Lebanese banks in the Syrian Free Zone. According to a recent report in Al-Hayat, the banks are the Lebanese-European public company, the Francebank and the European Bank-Middle East. These banks have been allowed to open their branches with a minimum capital of $11 million in foreign currency.
The Syrian People’s Council (parliament) is currently debating a law proposal regarding banking confidentiality. This proposal aims to improve the performance and competitiveness of the local banks, especially in light of the recent decision to allow the three foreign banks into the country.
The general director of the Syrian Commercial Bank, Mahmoud Methqal, was said to have welcomed this initiative, considering the fact that banking confidentiality will encourage the return of Syrian funds currently deposited in foreign banks. —(Albawaba-MEBG)