Foreign Lenders Cutting Ties with Lebanon’s Central Bank: Sources


Foreign lenders including HSBC and Wells Fargo are cutting ties with Lebanon’s central bank, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency, underlining the country’s international isolation as it reels from economic crisis.

In a letter to Lebanon’s public prosecutor last week, central bank governor Riad Salameh warned that foreign correspondent banks were starting to curtail their business relationships with the local financial system, while Wells Fargo had closed a central bank account in dollars, and HSBC had shut its British sterling account, according to three sources from the banking sector and the judiciary.

Foreign banks turned cautious on Lebanon when the government defaulted on its debt last year—and they became even more wary as its currency crashed and a standoff over the makeup of a new government deepened in recent months, dashing hopes for a revival of funding talks with the International Monetary Fund.

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