National News Agency – The Finance Committee has approved the amendment of the Bank Secrecy Act to ensure transparency and prevent discretion

NNA – The Finance and Budget Committee held a meeting chaired by Representative Ibrahim Kanaan, in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister HE Al-Shami and Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, to amend the Bank Secrecy Amendment Act follow.

Representatives attended by: Ali Fayyad, Alan Aoun, Ibrahim Mneimah, Ehab Matar, Ayoub Hamid, Jean Taluzian, Jihad Al-Samad, Hassan Fadlallah, Raji Al-Saad, Salim Aoun, Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghada Ayoub, Ghazi Makhoumi, Fou , Michel Moawad, Qabalan Qabalan, Waddah Al-Sadiq, Firas Hamdan, Mark Daou, Adnan Traboulsi, Muhammad Khawaja, Jamil Al-Sayed, Yassin Yassin, Halima Qaqour, Adib Abdel Masih, Razi Al-Hajj, Hadi Abu Al-Hassan, Ibrahim, Ibrahim Al-Moussawi, Qassem Hashem.

Also present: Representative of the Ministry of Justice, Judge Muhammad Fawaz, Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Finance, George Marawi, Secretary-General of the Association of Banks, Dr. Fadi Khalaf, adviser to the Association of Banks, Elie Chamoun, director of legal affairs at the Banque du Liban, Pierre Kanaan, head of the committee to protect the rights of depositors at the bar and representative of the Federation of Free Professions, Karim Daher , Vice-President of the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Depositors at the Bar and delegated by the Federation of Liberal Professions to negotiate with the International Monetary Fund Ali Zbeeb, Chairman of the Legislative Committee at the Bar, member of the Bar Council and his representative at the House of Representatives, Abdo Lahoud.

Canaan
Following the session, Canaan announced that “the Finance and Budget Committee has approved the draft Subcommittee on Bank Secrecy Act, as amended, to be submitted later” to the General Assembly, but that does not mean that we have approved the draft law. . by the government, but rather amended, and the session lasted a long time as well as the previous sessions.In view of the “great seriousness of the work, which was aimed at ensuring transparency, combating corruption, money laundering and terrorism and to prevent tax evasion, as well as to maintain confidentiality in all matters not related to the offenses mentioned in the body of previously approved laws ”such as the Unlawful Enrichment Act, the Act establishing the National Anti-Corruption Authority and the Tax Procedure Act as well as the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.

He said that “the government did not pass the law abolishing banking secrecy, but rather amended this law. And the regulations of the Finance Committee, based on the report of the sub-committee, specify the parties that are allowed banking secrecy. “There are conditions and mechanisms that must be respected within the laws you have mentioned.”

Canaan stressed that “the controls imposed by the Finance Committee are basic and important, and the authorities authorized to request the removal of confidentiality, such as the competent judiciary, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Special Investigation Commission and the tax administration, all of which are set out in the 30 pages that have been studied article by article. “

He pointed out that “there are also articles proposed by the Beirut Bar Association and the Banque du Liban that we have not considered, and they are required internationally and nationally. We will present them in our report to the General Assembly. The report is very accurate and includes an amendment to the articles agreed upon and requires reformulation, it will take two to three days to reach a clear draft law with its controls, taking into account the two concerns that exist in the country today , transparency and not paving the way for discretion.

Canaan said: “In response to all the rumors, it is shameful to say that the House of Representatives, especially the Finance Committee, is still discussing the budget. This is a falsification of the truth. The government is delaying the approval of the budget , as it has promised to address the issue of exchange rate pluralism since April 2022. We do not ask it to unify the exchange rate, but rather Completion of a study explaining the difference in standards and the issue of the public sector on the issue of the 1500 Lebanese pounds for salaries related to taxes and fees on the exchange platform, which amounted to 25 000, in addition to the inability to earn income on banking in light of an economic recession that reached 90 %.The government has also promised to establish The Recovery Fund, and the Prime Minister attended the Finance Committee and promised to send the project in writing within days so we can see it, and it did not until v attention did not come. ”

Canaan indicated that the government had been given a week to complete its vision on the problematic exchange rate and referred it to the Finance Committee.

Canaan said, “I am in full cooperation with the government and I am not in a position to throw accusations, but do the required work as a government and stop distorting the facts in the media. Where is the government’s promises to work with the IMF on the issue of the recovery fund, and where is the study you promised on the pluralism of the exchange rate to address The big difference between spending and income, which in the deficit “and where is the bank restructuring law? not in a debate, but there are assets to work with and things are required.”

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