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History / Structure
Constitution and Objectives
The Association of Banks in Lebanon was founded in 1959, by virtue of License No 1643, dated October 6, 1959. The constitutive administrative assembly was then composed of the following members:

H.E. Pierre Emile Edde Beirut Riyad Bank SAL
Anis Abdel Hamid Al Bibi National Union Bank SAL
Julius Roger John Thomson Chase Manhattan Bank
Jean Fares Saad Abou Jaoude Banque Libanise pour le Commerce SAL
Sheikh Fouad Salim Al Dahdah Al Ahli Bank SAL

By virtue of the bylaws, every bank enlisted in the list of banks set up by the Banque du Liban (Central Bank) has the right to join the Association as an active member, upon its request. Moreover, the representative offices of foreign banks may adhere to the Association, as Associate members, on equal footing with the member banks in rights and obligations. However, they do not have the right to vote or to be candidate for the membership of the Board of Directors.

The Association aims at achieving the following objectives:
  • Strengthening cooperation among the member banks through setting up a common picture for the higher interest of the sector.
  • Representing the profession and defending collectively the interests of the banking sector.
  • Highlighting the fundamental role of banks in upholding the national economy, through catering for an important share of the necessary financing needs to promote growth.
  • Working with the concerned authorities to find and develop the regulations and promulgate the legislations in order to develop the banking profession, in addition to expressing opinions regarding the projects and laws pertaining to the financial and banking affairs.
  • Reflecting the positive picture of the banking sector to the local and foreign public opinion, through multi-media, objective and arduous efforts.
  • Enhancing the banking performance level through improving the competences of the human resources working in this sector, continuously increasing their capacities and creating an ongoing atmosphere of understanding with the users of the sector, in order to guarantee the stability of the labor force in it and ensure the joint interests for all partners.
  • Endeavoring to consolidate cooperation between the banks in all other countries, especially in the Arab countries, in order to achieve the objectives of the Association.
Presidents of Boards of Directors
     Since its establishment, the Association of Banks in Lebanon elected 20 Boards of Directors, presided by 12 banking figures, as following:

Presidents of ABL
The Bank Date of Election
H.E. Pierre Edde Beirut Riyad Bank SAL 18/11/1959
Mr. Anis Al Bibi (by interim) National Union Bank SAL 1968
Sheikh Joseph Geagea Joseph GEAGEA Bank SAL 14/3/1968
Dr. Assaad Sawaya Banque de l’Industrie et du Travail SAL 28/3/1978
Mr. Antoine Chader Capital Trust Bank SAL 29/6/1983
M. Adel Al Kassar (by interim) Fransabank SAL 7/5/1985
Mr. Abdallah Al Zakhem 
Business United Bank SAL 24/11/1987
Dr. George Aachi CCMO SAL
2/11/1989
H.E. Raymond Ausdi Audi Bank SAL 12/11/1993
Dr. François Bassil Byblos Bank SAL 8/11/1994; 6/12/2005; 14/11/2007 and 5/7/2013
H.E. Farid Raphael Banque Libano-Française SAL 15/11/1997 and 20/11/1999
Dr. Joseph Torbey Crédit Libanais SAL 27/11/2001; 21/11/2003;
30/6/2009; 27/6/2011 and 29/6/2015

Since its creation, the Association has held as at end of June 2016, 84 General Assemblies, out of which 54 ordinary and 30 extraordinary. Secretaries General succeeded, whether in person or by proxy:

Secretaries General
Mr. Michel Shar 1963-1970
Dr. Pierre Nasrallah 1970 – Feb. 1980
Mr. Majid Joumblatt (assistant) 1980-1984
Mr. Antoine Obeid (assistant) March 1980 – Sept. 1991
Dr. Makram Sader Sept. 91
Headquarters of the Association
At the beginning of the sixties of the last century, the Association located its headquarters in Tabet Building overlooking Riyad Al Solh Square and the Banks Street. It then moved, in 1982, to Macarri Center located on Burj Hammoud – Dora highroad. At the beginning of July 2001, it moved to its new headquarters in Al Saifi area, at the intersection between Gouraud Street and George Haddad Street, to a ten-floor building (out of which 4 underground floors), the overall surface of which 3762 square meters, with offices extending over 2241 square meters. As for the overall cost of the headquarters, it amounted to 6 million USD.
Retrospective

a- Resistance of the banking sector in the face of huge crises

During the past fifty years, Lebanon, the Arab region and the whole world witnessed a series of great crises, with a military, a security, a political, a financial or an economic character. The banking sector has proven, for many times and throughout half a century, its capacity to assimilate the shocks, of any level of strictness whatsoever, and to face the challenges, thus becoming an example of resistance and immunity to follow suit. You will find below a quick reminder of the major events and crises Lebanon has witnessed since the beginning of the sixties of the past century and those the Association of Banks in Lebanon and the banking sector in Lebanon were confronted with, with wisdom, shrewdness, solidarity, vision and clear-sightedness, in cooperation and coordination with the concerned official authorities, in order to preserve the rights of shareholders and investors in the present sector, on the one hand, and the rights of the depositors and the national economic interests, on the other hand.

  • 1 Intra Bank crisis on October 16, 1966
  • 2 The Six-Day War, June 6, 1967
  • 3 The Two-Year War: 1975-1977
  • 4 The Israeli invasion and the accelerated fall on the economic, security and political levels, esp. the deterioration of the exchange rate of the Lebanese Pound: 1982 – 1988.
  • 5 Division of the Lebanese State during the era of the two governments: 1988 – 1990.
  • 6 The Israeli aggression (the Seven-Day War): July 1993.
  • 7 The Israeli aggression (The Grapes of Wrath Operation): April 1996.
  • 8 The assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in February 2005, and the ensuing series of assassinations which targeted several intellectuals and politicians and explosions targeting many regions, residential areas, and commercial and industrial institutions in the country.
  • 9 The Israeli aggression on Lebanon in July 2006.
  • 10 The global financial and economic crisis: September 2008.


b- The Contribution to the Consolidation of the State’s authority and to the Attenuation of the Misery of the Lebanese

Within this context, it is worthy to mention, indicatively not restrictively, a series of initiatives organized by the Association of Banks in Lebanon, to assist the Lebanese State and/or the Lebanese population in bearing the severe and difficult conditions the country has witnessed in the past five decades. Among these most important initiatives:
  • 1 Contribution of the ABL of an amount of 4.5 million USD in the Fund of the High Relief Council to attenuate the effects of the Israeli aggression (April 1996).
  • 2 Yearly contribution of the ABL, over several years (1997-2000), of an amount of 50 thousand USD, in a campaign in support of the South and the Western Bekaa.
  • 3 Contribution of the ABL to the economic institutions in a campaign in support of the month of sales organized by the Ministry of Trade and Economy (February 1998).
  • 4 Contribution of the ABL amounting to 4 million USD to the national campaign to face the effects of the Israeli aggression (June 1999).
  • 5 Contribution of the ABL to “Lebanon 2000” campaign (the beginning of the third millennium), December 1999 – January 2000.
  • 6 Contribution of the Association to the support of the activities of the “National Commission for the commemoration of March 14, April 18 and May 25” under the patronage of His Excellency Nabih Berry (May 2001).
  • 7 Contribution of the Banks of an amount of 3.6 billion USD representing 10% of their total deposits closing at the end of October 2002, under the form of two-year bonds, at 0% interest, within the program of Paris II Conference, for debt restructuring. This contribution, as the contribution of the Banque du Liban (Central Bank) and the donating countries, had a clear impact to reduce the public debt between 2003 and 2005.
  • 8 Contribution of the Association and the banks to a unified fund created by the economic institutions to support institutions damaged by explosions, following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in February 2005. The banks’ contributions to this fund amount to two million USD, constituting the largest share of the total donations offered to this fund.
  • 9 Contribution of the Association to the financing of the campaign “revitalizing the capital”, in the downtown of Beirut (June 2005).
  • 10 Contribution of the Association to the financing of the campaign of the “one-hundred-day truce”, in cooperation with the economic institutions (June 2007).
  • 11 Contribution of the Association and the banks with an amount of two million USD to the support of the Lebanese Army in counter-terrorism and the consolidation of stability, following the incidents in Nahr Al Bared (July 2007).
  • 12 Contribution of the Association and the banks with an amount of 4 million USD to support the program of “Akhdar Dayem” Association aiming at protecting the forestry and buying fire-fighting helicopters (February 2009).
  • 13 Contribution of the Association and the banks with an amount of 6 million USD to support the rehabilitation plan of Roumieh prison (June 2014).
The Structure
The Structure of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) is composed of the following:
  • 1 The General Assembly:

    It is composed of all operating member banks. It has reporting and voting prerogatives stipulated in the bylaws.

    The General Assembly meets once at least per year. It elects or re-elects the members of the Board of Directors. It also listens to the report of the Board of Directors about its activities for the past year and about the execution of the budget for the same year. Moreover, the General Assembly ratifies the budget set up by the Board of Directors for the coming year. It also convenes when need be, according to the situations stipulated in the bylaws. It solely has the right to amend the bylaws, with a three-quarter majority of the members.
  • 2 The Board of Directors:

    It is the higher executive authority, elected by the General Assembly for two years. It delineates the ABL policy to achieve its objectives, setting up its administrative and internal regulations. It also adopts its annual budget and its periodical reports, presents propositions and recommendations to the relevant official parties, designates the Secretary General and the temporary and permanent commissions, and decides of the adherence to the international unions and organizations and of the filing of or involvement in lawsuits.

    The Board elects, among its members, a president, a vice – president, a secretary and a treasurer, constituting altogether the Bureau of the Board. The Board of the Directors holds periodical (monthly) meetings with the Governor and Vice-Governors of the Banque du Liban (Central Bank) and the Banking Control Commission. The conclusions of these meetings will be generalized to all operating banks in Lebanon.
  • 3 The Secretariat General:

    The structure of the Secretariat General comprises 4 directorates:
    • Administrative and financial directorate
    • Directorate of studies and statistics
    • Directorate of human resources training
    • Directorate of communication and public relations
  • 4 The Advisory Committees:

    The Advisory committees assist the ABL’s Board of Directors in its various activities and are particularly in charge of the following:
    • Assisting in studying draft circulars set up by the Banque du Liban (Central Bank) and by the Banking Control Commission, and bills set up and submitted by the Parliament.
    • Recommending amendments to be introduced to draft circulars and laws and undertaking studies in specific economic, financial and banking fields.
    • Providing counseling for the development of mechanisms and conditions for the banking professions in all its elements and branches.

Last Updated on December 15, 2016
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ASSOCIATION OF BANKS IN LEBANON
Beirut, Saifi, Gouraud street, ABL Bldg
Postal Code: Beirut 2028 1212 Lebanon
P.O.Box: 976 Beirut, Lebanon
Tel/Fax: (961) (1) 970500/1