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As a result of this strong compliance culture and legal framework, Lebanese banks have been able to integrate successfully into the global financial system.Even before the original HIFPA legislation was passed in 2014, Lebanese bankers demonstrated their commitment to compliance with U.S.-led anti-laundering efforts during the Lebanese Canadian Bank affair. The Lebanese banking sector quickly complied with the new HIFPA regulations, with few negative consequences.The man who led Lebanon's compliance efforts, Central Bank Gov. Salameh, a technocrat who has served as the head of BDL since 1993, is seen as an integral force for economic stability within the country. Officials in Washington considering a HIFPA 2.0 should recognize that they have professional Lebanese partners, with a long track record of complying with international financial regulations even prior to any specific sanctions targeting Hezbollah, who are willing to work with them to combat terror financing. The U.S. must also seriously heed the concerns of Lebanese bankers, who know the Lebanese economy better than anyone and can convey the invaluable role of the financial sector in maintaining political stability in the country.
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