The Finance Committee approves the amendment of the Bank Secrecy Act to ensure transparency and prevent discretion Canaan: The government has been delaying the approval of the budget since last April and is delaying the transfer of the details of the rescue plan

The Finance and Budget Committee held a meeting chaired by Representative Ibrahim Kanaan and in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Al-Shami and Finance Minister Youssef Khalil to follow up on the amendment to the Bank Secrecy Removal Act.
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.

At the end of the session, Representative Ibrahim Kanaan stated that “the Finance and Budget Committee approved the draft subcommittee on the Banking Secrecy Act, as amended, to be submitted later” to the General Assembly. However, this does not mean that we approved the draft law as proposed by the government, but rather amended it, and the session lasted a long time. As well as the previous sessions, given the insure, combat corruption, money laundering and terrorism and prevent tax evasion, as well as maintaining confidentiality in all matters not related to the offenses mentioned in the body of previously approved laws ”such as the law of illegal enrichment and the law enacted by the National Anti-Corruption Authority The Tax Procedures 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 established 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 Authority, the Special Investigation Commission and the tax administration, everything is set out in the 30 pages 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, which 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 lack of discretion.

Canaan believes that, “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 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 public sector on the issue of the 1500 Lebanese pounds for salaries and taxes and fees on the exchange platform, which amounted to 25 000, in addition to the impossibility of earning income on banking in the face of an economic recession, which has a rate of 90 “The Recovery Fund, and the Prime Minister attended the Finance Committee and promised to send the project in writing within days so that we can see it, and it has not come to this day.”

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 large difference between expenditure and income, which deficit is reflected, and where is the bank restructuring law? not in a debate, but there are assets to work and things are required. “

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