Fransabank Won The Appeal Against Court Ruling To Freeze All Its Assets


Last week, the Lebanese authorities seized all the assets of Fransabank, one of the biggest banks in Lebanon, after Judge Mariana Anani ruled in favor of a depositor suing the bank over his deposited money.

All the bank’s assets in Hamra and Ashrafieh were seized for the bank to comply with the judge’s ruling. Fransabank closed down its branches and decided to file an appeal.

The Association of Banks in Lebanon went on a 2-day strike, Monday and Tuesday, to pressure the public opinion and the judiciary.

On Tuesday, Fransabank won the appeal against the freezing of its assets. The court also ruled that the bank can now unseal some of its vaults.

The bank sector in Lebanon, which has enforced tremendous hardships on the population with its capital control for over 2 years, has been suddenly the target of a series of judiciary actions.

Mount Lebanon Prosecutor Judge Ghada Aoun targetted five banks earlier this month, freezing their assets, namely Bank Audi, Bankmed, Blom Bank, SGBL, and Bank of Beirut, for allegedly transferring abroad the money of Lebanese politicians amid the informal capital control.

The governor of the Central Bank (BDL), Riad Salameh, was charged this week with corruption and illegal enrichment, following the recent scandal exposed by the French authorities. Their investigations in France revealed that millions of BDL funds were used by Salameh for private purposes.

His brother, Raja Salameh, was also detained last week for alleged illicit enrichment and embezzlement.

The capital control has been strenuous on the Lebanese people who are already struggling with hyperinflation and the loss of their money’s values with the crashing of the local currency.

People have also lost years of savings they’ve worked hard for. Access to their money has ceased to be a right, becoming instead a highly frustrating mix of anger and pleas.

Their countless protests against the bank sector and the ruling body remain to date unheard, unseen, and unheeded by the consecutive governments neglecting to tackle this painful situation.

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