The Lebanese government signed, on Friday, with the international company “Alvarez & Marsal”, a contract for the criminal audit of the accounts of the Central Bank.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, reported by the official news agency, said that the Minister of Finance, Youssef Al-Khalil, signed the contract, representing the Lebanese government, after receiving the approval of the Audit Bureau on the contract.
The forensic audit of the accounts of the Lebanese Central Bank and state institutions is one of the conditions of the International Monetary Fund to support the economic and financial reform program in the country, and one of the requirements for resuming negotiations with Lebanon, which has been stalled for more than a year.
The company will submit the initial report to Minister Al-Khalil, within three months from the date of the start of the company’s work team, according to the statement.
On November 20, 2020, the international company, Alvarez & Marsal, announced its withdrawal from an agreement signed with the Lebanese government the previous August, to review and audit the accounts of the Central Bank, for not obtaining the required information and documents.
Lebanon has adopted the “banking secrecy” law since 1956, whereby it is forbidden to disclose bank accounts to any party, whether judicial, administrative or financial, except in some cases within a narrow scope.
This law constituted an attractive factor for Arab and foreign capital.
For two years, Lebanon has been suffering from a severe economic crisis, the worst since the end of the civil war (1975-1990) that led to a financial collapse, as well as great material losses incurred by the Central Bank.
And on Friday, the Lebanese government headed by Najib Mikati was formed after 13 months of stumbling, following the resignation of the caretaker government headed by Hassan Diab on August 10, 2020, 6 days after a catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut.