According to the Association of Banks (ABL), the total value of cleared checks fell by a yearly 15.2% to settle at $37.4B in the first eight months of 2019. Correspondingly, the total number of checks slumped by 12.5% year-on-year (YOY) to 6.9M checks, over the same period.
In details, ABL’s latest figures revealed the value of checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds (LP) slipped by 1.5%YOY to stand at $14.07B as the number of checks retreated by an incremental 0.06%YOY to 3.07M checks by august 2019. Meanwhile, the value and number of checks denominated in foreign currency (mainly USD) contracted more sharply, sliding from 4.8M checks worth $29.8B by Aug. 2018 to 3.8M checks worth $23.3B by August 2019. As a result, the dollarization rate of cleared checks in volume and value declined from 61.12% and 67.61% by Aug. 2018 to 55.51% and 62.37%, respectively, by Aug. 2019. In their turn, returned checks fell from 177,002 checks by Aug 2018 to stand at 173,409 checks by Aug. 2019, while their value decreased from $1.01B by Aug 2018 to $926.03M over the same period.
In the month of August alone, the number and value of cleared checks slumped by 11.2% YOY and 11.01% YOY, thereby closing the month with 872,094 checks worth $4.8B.This came on the back of an 18.58% down tick in the value of checks denominated in foreign currencies to $2.9B, while their number slipped by 19.9% YOY to 473,559 checks. Nevertheless, the value and number of checks denominated in LBP grew by a yearly 4.59% and 1.95%, respectively, totaling 398,535 checks worth $1.9B in Aug. 2019. As such, the monthly dollarization rate of cleared checks slipped in volume and value from 60.2% and 67.31% in Aug 2018 to 54.30% and 61.58%, respectively, in Aug 2019. The total number and value of returned checks declined by 13.77%YOY and 17.17%YOY, respectively, amounting to 20,759 checks worth $108.8M over the same period.
Value of Cleared Checks by August (in $B)