Fransabank Reportedly Closed All Its Branches In Lebanon After International Order

AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

On Wednesday, the Lebanese authorities seized the assets of one of Lebanon’s largest banks, Fransabank.

The judicial decision came from Judge Mariana Anani following a lawsuit by a Fransabank depositor who has requested his deposited money in cash rather than in check, which has been problematic.

All the bank’s assets of Hamra and Ashrafieh branches were reportedly seized, and all monetary operations suspended. The Lebanese authorities also sealed with wax all the safes and registers.

Local news outlets reported that Fransabank’s assets would be auctioned if the bank fails to pay the depositor his money as requested.

In response to the Judge’s order, Fransabank declared that it will no longer be able to carry out any financial transactions as a consequence.

Earlier this week, Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun froze the assets of five banks in Lebanon, namely Bank Audi, Bankmed, Blom Bank, SGBL, and Bank of Beirut, and their boards of chiefs.

The Lebanese banks are under investigation for allegedly transferring abroad the money of Lebanese politicians after imposing an informal capital control on the people.

The harsh-felt capital control has also impacted the Lebanese expats.

In addition to the students abroad being unable to receive tuition and living costs funds from their parents, there have been cases of local rents deposited in banks not being transferred to the Lebanese landlords living abroad. Many of these landlords rely on these annual rents of their properties in Lebanon to cover their rent and/or utilities where they reside abroad.

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