Most banks have complied with norm to raise capital: Lebanon central bank chief

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Lebanon’s central bank governor confirmed on Tuesday that most banks had complied with a requirement to raise capital, though he gave no further details.

The banking sector is at the heart of Lebanon’s financial crisis that erupted in late 2019, with lenders largely freezing customers out of their dollar deposits and blocking transfers abroad since then.

Central bank governor Riad Salameh had made similar comments earlier to Beirut newspaper Daily Star saying the majority of banks had heeded a circular requiring them to raise capital.

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Banks were required by a circular last year to raise their capital by 20 percent and their liquidity with corresponding banks to 3 percent of foreign currency deposits. The deadline was the end of February.

Banks were also told to urge their large depositors to repatriate 15-30 percent of funds transferred abroad in recent years.

Salameh told Reuters he would reveal more details when the banking commission finished its report.

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