Announcing the blacklisting, the US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker described Jammal Trust as among the corrupt financial institutions that posed a direct threat to the integrity of the Lebanese financial system.
Sunday 01, September 2019
Lebanon said it will investigate Jammal Trust Bank after the US blacklisted the lender for allegedly facilitating banking for the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, reported Bloomberg.
Riad Salameh, the Governor of Banque du Liban, said that the central bank will monitor the bank’s operations and look to see if it has violated the law, adding that Jammal Trust Bank was small, with deposits amounting to just 0.5 per cent of the country’s total.
All legitimate deposits at the bank would be guaranteed as the probe proceeds, said Salameh.
The US has targeted Hezbollah, a militant Iranian proxy group based in Lebanon, alongside its economic sanctions to isolate and weaken Iran, by imposing sanctions on its oil critical exports.
Salameh said the Treasury had yet to share its findings on Jammal Trust with Lebanese authorities.
In 2011, Lebanon-based Lebanese Canadian Bank—now defunct—was accused by the US of helping to launder millions for Hezbollah, a month later the bank merged with Societe Generale’s Lebanese unit and later paid $102 million to settle a US government lawsuit.
Salim Sfeir, the Head of the Association of Lebanese Banks, said that Washington had said no additional banks would be blacklisted.