Central Bank governor Riad Salameh speaks in Beirut, Friday, July 31, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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We have decided even at the Central Bank to set up a compliance department," Salameh explained.He added that so far, Lebanese banks in general have not faced any serious problems with correspondent banks abroad. Salameh emphasized that the correspondent banks are no longer willing to deal with banks that do not have the proper setup.Salameh said it's up to the bank to decide whether to merge or sell.However, when we have transactions in U.S. dollars then we have to abide by the American laws and this applies to the rest of the currencies," he said.He added that Lebanon will do everything in its capacity in order not to be disqualified from correspondent banks, reiterating that banks in general are fully cooperating with correspondent banks. As for the annual profits achieved by banks, Salameh insisted that double digit growth these days is difficult to achieve.Salameh ruled out the possibility that some banks may lose clients if other banks offer higher interest on dollar deposits."Whether the Lebanese banks will have a role in the future in Iran is a commercial decision and will rely on the vision and plans of the banks individually," he said.He stressed that the Central Bank never intervenes in the commercial decisions of Lebanese banks.
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