Lebanese banks commit to choking terrorism funding

Published May 31st, 2015 - 04:00 GMT
There is a greater need to monitor cash movements across borders. (Shutterstock)
There is a greater need to monitor cash movements across borders. (Shutterstock)

Central Bank governor Riad Salameh reassured that Lebanese authorities are tightening measures to stamp out money laundering and terrorism funding. “Lebanon is fully committed to all international decisions and resolutions in terms of money laundering and terrorism funding. We won’t accept any account of individual or group which is linked to terrorism activity and all banks are abiding by these guidelines,” Salameh told a French TV station during his visit to Paris.

The governor stressed that authorities are also monitoring closely all cash movements across the border, especially in cases that involve large sums of money.

Last year, the Lebanese authorities lifted the banking secrecy on 13 bank accounts for suspicion of money laundering, terrorism funding and financial embezzlement.

Lebanese bankers say that US authorities are deeply concerned about the financial capabilities of ISIS and have urged all countries in the region to strengthen monitoring measures along their borders.

Banks have emphasized the need for authorities and security forces to also monitor any cash movement across the border, saying that it is very unlikely that ISIS or any terrorist organization would attempt to transfer money through Lebanese banks.

Salameh also said that Lebanon is benefiting from the drop in interest rates in the international markets, noting that the Central Bank has managed to sell all its sovereign bonds at acceptable rates.

He added that there was considerable demand for the Eurobonds from both local and international investors.

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