The latest data by the Association of Banks (ABL) revealed that the total value of cleared checks declined by an annual 15.8% to stand at $32.6B by July 2019. In turn, the total number of checks fell by 12.7% year-on-year (YOY) to stand at 6.03M checks over the same period.
In details, the statistics show that the value of checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds contracted by 2.4% YOY to $12.2B while the number of checks lost a marginal 0.22% YOY to 2.7M checks. Meanwhile, the number and value of checks denominated in foreign currency (mainly USD) fell from 4.2M checks worth $26.2B by July 2018 to 3.4M checks worth $20.3B by July 2019. As such, the dollarization rate of cleared checks in volume and value dropped from 61.25% and 67.65% by July 2018 to 55.69% and 62.49%, respectively, by July 2019.
As for the number of returned checks, it slipped by 0.18% YOY to stand at 152,650 checks by July 2019, while the value of returned checks felly by a yearly 7.7% YOY to $817.3M over the same period.
It is worthy to mention that the number and value of cleared checks in July alone decreased by 6.5% YOY and 13.1% YOY to end the month at 965,513 checks worth $5.07B in July 2019. In fact, the value of checks denominated in foreign currencies (62.5% of total checks’ value) fell by a yearly 19.8% YOY to $3.2B in July 2019 while the number of foreign checks slipped by 16.6% YOY to 526,787 checks. Meanwhile, the value and number of checks in LBP rose by 1.2% and 9.6% YOY to stand at 438,726 checks worth $1.9B in the month of July 2019. As such, the monthly dollarization rate of cleared checks slipped in volume and value from 61.21% and 67.79% in July 2018 to 54.56% and 62.50%, respectively, in July 2019. As for the monthly number of returned checks, it fell by 3.9% YOY to 21,991 checks as their value correspondingly slipped by 14.2% YOY to $116.7M over the same period.
Value of Cleared Checks by July (in $B)