Jammal Trust Bank to go through liquidation

JTB was blacklisted late last month after the U.S accused it of facilitating Hezbollah's financial activities.
by Georgi Azar

19 September 2019 | 14:56

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 19 September 2019 | 14:56

A man uses an ATM outside Jammal Trust Bank in Ashrafieh, Lebanon. (Reuters)

BEIRUT: Banque Du Liban Governor Riad Salameh announced Thursday the liquidation of Jammal Trust Bank while assuring that all legal deposits are safe and guaranteed during their scheduled maturity. 

Employees' right will also be safeguarded during the timely process, a statement by BDL said. 

JTB was blacklisted late last month after the U.S accused it of facilitating Hezbollah's financial activities. The designation cut off its access to the U.S banking sector and all access to dollars.

The bank vehemently denied the charges, issuing a swift statement assuring of its "commitment to abide strictly by the Central Bank's rules and regulations as well as all international rules and regulations on countering money laundering and financing of terrorism.”

As illustrated by Annahar columnist Dan Azzi, JTB's remaining recourse included the sale of the bank to a competitor or even BDL. Both these scenarios seemed unlikely for a myriad of reasons, Azzi argued. 

In an op-ed published by Annahar, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the U.S Department of the Treasury Marshall Billingslea accused Hezballah’s Member of Parliament Amin Sherri, "who engages in criminal behavior on behalf of Hezballah", of openly coordinating the group's financial activities at the bank with its management.

The latest round of sanctions come in line with U.S President Donald Trump's hardened stance against Hezbollah and its main backer Iran. 

Last week, a high ranking U.S envoy warned that future sanctions might target allies of Hezbollah, regardless of their religion. 

“In the future, we will designate because we have to, individuals in Lebanon who are aiding and assisting Hezbollah, regardless of their sect or religion,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Schenker said.

This raised concerns over Lebanon's ability to withstand increased economic pressure, as it reels under the weight of a skyrocketing twin deficit. 

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