Lebanon’s Central Bank Gets 3 More Months To Submit All Data To Forensic Audit

Reuters

Caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni announced on Thursday a three-month extension of a deadline to provide all data required for a forensic audit of the Central Bank’s accounts.

As earlier reported, the Central Bank has been resisting to submit all the needed information and even answering the audit firm’s list of questions, citing banking secrecy.

“In these three months, the Lebanese government will try to secure the documents that will allow the company to carry out the (audit) contract,” Wazni issued in a televised briefing, after a meeting with ’s president, the central bank governor, and an Alvarez & Marsal official.

“The forensic audit is a reform measure and President Aoun stressed the importance of abiding by it,” he added

Ex-prime minister has previously said that Banque du Liban (BDL) had withheld information needed by the restructuring consultancy firm to begin the audit, which is a key demand for foreign financial assistance.

BDL said in a statement on Wednesday that it had provided its own accounts for the audit but that it’s the government’s responsibility to submit a full state account to the expert firm to “spare the Central Bank from violating legally binding bank secrecy laws.”

The original deadline was set on November 3rd for the bank to provide it with all information needed for the review, but what was handed consist of over less than half of the documents required to proceed with the audit bringing the process to a halt.


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