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Lebanese Bank Hit by US Sanctions Says Deposits Are Insured

Lebanese Bank Hit by US Sanctions Says Deposits Are Insured

Tuesday, 3 September, 2019 - 10:30
People walk past a branch of Jammal Trust Bank in the Beirut's Hamra street on August 30, 2019. (AFP)

A Lebanese bank targeted by the US Department of the Treasury for "knowingly facilitating banking activities" for the Hezbollah party stressed Tuesday it will remain open and guarantees all deposits are insured at the time they are due.

In a statement, Jammal Trust Bank confirmed its commitment to abiding strictly by the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Lebanon and denies all allegations against it.

The bank said it is continuously coordinating with Lebanon's central bank "to overcome the current crisis and will do everything possible to clear its good name."

Central bank Governor Riad Salameh told Reuters on Friday that it would guarantee money put in the bank by depositors not subject to sanctions.

Last week, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank, adding it to its list of global terrorist organizations.

The US has been imposing sanctions on officials from Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.

Jammal Trust Bank has 25 branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Britain, its website says.

The bank is a relatively small lender. It had net assets of 1,600 billion Lebanese pounds ($1 billion) at the end of 2017, according to the annual report on the latest year for which data is available.

Washington has sought to choke off Hezbollah’s funding worldwide, with sanctions among a slew of steps against Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

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