The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) announced Sunday that the country’s banks will resume operations as of today, Monday, following a one-week closure prompted by a wave of bank “heists” that were carried out by depositors demanding their savings.
In a statement, ABL said it held a meeting in which it discussed “the need to secure the continuity of services for clients while taking into consideration the difficult security situations and the need to preserve the safety of clients and employees alike, in the absence of sufficient protection from the state.”
The Association added that banks will resume their operations today through channels specified by each bank for the operations of commercial, educational, health, and other institutions and through ATMs that are accessible by everyone.
“This will allow them to carry out their deposits and withdrawals and will secure the availability of the salaries of the public and private sectors,” ABL said.
“If necessary, any client can contact the general administration of the concerned bank or its client service department so that any other urgent matter can be fulfilled as soon as possible,” the Association went on to say.
The banks had initially declared a three-day strike but decided to extend it after rejecting a security plan proposed by the Interior Ministry.
The bank heists were mostly celebrated among the Lebanese public, who have accused the authorities of rampant corruption and mismanagement.
Millions of Lebanese are struggling to cope with skyrocketing food prices and rampant power cuts and many now sympathize with people choosing to take matters into their own hands.
Depositors’ protest groups have vowed to continue supporting people’s attempts at forcefully retrieving their savings.