Hinderance of Banque du Liban’s Forensic Audit: A Clear Attempt at Obstructing Transparency and Protecting Corrupt Interests
Delaying Banque du Liban’s forensic audit is inexcusable and reeks of the system’s moral bankruptcy. Resorting to bank secrecy as a justification is legally faulty and a clear attempt at obstructing transparency. We urge all branches of the government—Cabinet, Parliament and Judges—to take all steps necessary to compel BdL to abide by the approved auditing contract.
A year into the devastating outbreak of the crisis, neglect by the political class has approached criminality. Society deserves transparency on financial transactions that have culminated in millions of people losing their life savings. BdL’s refusal to cooperate with auditors is unacceptable. And politicians from across the spectrum justifying and condoning BdL’s refusal is inexcusable.
We, the undersigned, believe that:
More broadly, there is a need to seriously consider a complete abrogation of Lebanon’s Bank Secrecy Law. The law has lost its original rationale and the culture of impunity it is currently contributing to can no longer prevail when national security is at stake.
We firmly believe nothing prevents A&M from performing the audit fully under the law. The State has the full right and utmost duty to conduct this audit. That said, any Member of Parliament who genuinely believes the legal case for an audit is questionable can simply advance an urgent motion that formally exempts the A&M contract from the stipulations of the Bank Secrecy Law. Parliamentarians who vote against such a motion will, de facto, reveal their true motives and corrupt complicity.