According to the Association of Banks (ABL), the total value of cleared checks retreated by a yearly 11.98% to stand at $9.76B by February 2019. Similarly, the total number of checks over the same period declined by an annual 11.10% to 1.71M checks.
In details, the value of checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds recorded a downtick of 0.42% to $3.64B, while the number of checks slightly rose by 0.19% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 734,350 checks. As for checks denominated in foreign currency, their number and value retreated from 1.19M checks worth $7.43B by February 2018 to 977,170 checks worth $ 6.12B by February 2019.
As such, the dollarization rate of cleared checks slipped in volume and value from 61.93% and 67.04% in Feb. 2018, to 57.09% and 62.71%, respectively, by February 2019.
The share of returned checks in the total number of cleared checks slightly rose from 2.14% to 2.61% over the same period.
In the month of February alone, the number and value of cleared checks decreased by 6.02% and 6.00% from the same month of 2018, to reach 851,362 checks worth $4.85B in 2019. In fact, the value of checks denominated in foreign currencies (representing 63.29%of the total) edged down from February 2018 by 11.67% to $3.07B this year. Meanwhile, the value of checks in LBP added a yearly 5.71% to $1.78B in Feb 2019. As such, the dollarization rate of cleared checks slipped in volume and value from 61.76% and 67.36% in Feb 2018 to 57.52% and 63.29%, respectively, in Feb 2019. As for the number of returned checks, it rose by 7.54% y-o-y from 19,259 in Feb 2018 to 20,712 checks worth $114.1M over the period.
Value of Cleared Checks by February (in $Billions)