A man crosses a street hosting banks and financial institutions, known as Banks street, in Beirut Central District, Lebanon June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
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The Association of Banks in Lebanon has spearheaded a campaign to discourage the government from raising taxes on interest on deposits and bonds held by commercial banks from the current 5 percent to 7 percent.A source told The Daily Star that Salameh will convey these reservations to the Lebanese authorities.Previous governments allowed banks to deduct the value of the tax on deposit interest from their final tax bill on profits. According to the 2017 budget which was passed by the government and Parliament, the taxes on deposit interest should generate $400 million annually.Kheireddine stressed that the banks have no interest in arguing with the government, but if all efforts fail to achieve any result then the lenders will be obliged to make up the drop in profits by raising taxes on loans to the private sector and reducing these interest rates on customer deposits.
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