BankMed denies oil trader accusations in $1 bln lawsuit

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BankMed on Thursday “strongly” denied the accusations made in a lawsuit by oil trader IMMS.

IMMS has accused Lebanese bank BankMed of failing to return $1 billion of its deposits when requested, according to court documents seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

On Thursday, BankMed released a statement denying the lawsuit’s accusations and added that, “The $1 billion deposit is a blocked deposit by instructions of IMMS maturing in about two years from now.”

BankMed said that it found, “material breaches of contract and attempts by IMMS to direct funds due to BankMed overseas.” The bank said that it opposed these attempts and took action.

The lawsuit comes as the Lebanese economy faces economic crisis. Banks have already instituted a system of unofficial capital controls in order to restrict the flow of foreign currency out of the country. The lawsuit challenges this system as IMMS sought to remove dollars from the Lebanese economy.

“As per the contracts, the relationship between BankMed and IMMS is subject to Lebanese law and to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Lebanese courts. IMMS has already initiated a claim in Beirut on November 14, 2019 and a hearing has been set in December 2019. BankMed will submit the appropriate responses to the Lebanese court,” the bank said.

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