Within a Middle East mired by conflicts and amidst political deadlocks at home, the operating environment for Lebanese banks has been tough since 2011. Add to that, new anti-terrorism financing laws and stricter regulation regarding money laundering and tax evasion mean that banks have more than one delicate issue to handle. However, the conservative business approach and the ensuing buffers built-up against potential risks have allowed the banks to continue to grow and expand domestically and abroad.
With commercial banks’ assets hovering around 350% of Lebanon’s GDP, the banking sector is inarguably a pillar of the Lebanese economy and insight into the lending activity mirrors the inner-workings of various economic sectors.
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The Details of the Lending Activity in Lebanon During 2015