The consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) announced on Thursday that it had officially withdrawn from the forensic audit of the Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank.
Announcing its withdrawal, A&M cited the lack of the required information to conduct the audit.
The company previously said that it could not continue the process before the BDL provides the required information, which the latter refused to do, citing banking secrecy laws.
“Due to the insufficient provision of information, A&M is unable to complete its review and has formally notified the Ministry of Finance of its decision to terminate the engagement,” the firm said in a statement released on Thursday.
Caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni revealed last week that A&M had canceled its contract with the Lebanese government due to the lack of compliance on the part of the central bank.
The deadline for the central bank to provide the required information was extended by 3 months in early November.
However, the central bank and the Finance Ministry said that the former would not provide the data in the near future, A&M noted in the statement.
“In meetings held on November 4th and 5th, the Ministry of Finance and Banque du Liban confirmed that the information A&M requested would not be forthcoming in the near future,” the company said.
Notably, the termination of the contract is considered a step back for Lebanon in terms of its goal to secure the support of foreign donors, which it hopes to do in order to escape the ongoing economic meltdown.
On a final note, A&M stated: “We remain available should the government of Lebanon wish to consider re-engaging A&M under circumstances more conductive to a successful completion of the mandate.”
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