After the Lebanese Parliament approved a law that removes banking secrecy, the Lebanese government now looks to select a firm for undergoing the forensic auditing of the central bank’s accounts.
Last month, Alvarez & Marsal, the firm that the Lebanese government had hired to conduct the audit, announced that it would be withdrawing from the contract.
This was after Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh refused to answer some of the firm’s questions and refrained from providing information necessary for the audit, citing Lebanon’s banking secrecy laws.
Now that banking secrecy has been lifted, Lebanon is looking to secure a new contract to relaunch the audit.
“We are looking at different options. Either we renew the contract with Alvarez & Marsal or find another firm to conduct forensic auditing of all BDL’s accounts. We are supposed to find a company in a matter of days,” caretaker Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni told The Daily Star.
He added that the law passed by Parliament this week removes all justifications not to cooperate with the forensic auditing team.
“The new law is very clear. All accounts at BDL will be subject to forensic auditing,” the official stressed.
It’s important to note that the forensic auditing of all of the BDL’s accounts is a requirement set by the international community for Lebanon to unlock financial support and proceed on the assisted path toward recovery from its severe crisis.