Lebanese banks to remain shut indefinitely after economic crises

Man walks in front of branch of Bank of Beirut

Lebanese banks will remain shut “indefinitely” due to a lack of security protection by authorities, say their association.

The announcement by the Association of Lebanese Banks follows a string of raids by customers demanding access to frozen savings last week.

It said their employees faced risks which had not been mitigated.

A woman armed with a toy gun staged a hold-up at a bank on Wednesday to pay for family medical bills.

There have since been other copycat raids, with reports of at least five last Friday.

Lebanon is in a severe economic crisis, with more than 80% of the population struggling to afford food and medicine.

The raids have mostly drawn support from the general public, and have been seen as acts of desperation by people who do not have criminal records and are trying to settle bills.

Banks have limited withdrawals of dollars since 2019, when the value of the Lebanese pound plummeted and inflation soared.

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