According to the Association of Banks (ABL), the total value of cleared checks decreased by 14.6% in Q3 2019, which illustrates lower business spending and the fact that people are possibly using alternate payment systems. In fact, the number of checks cleared by Banque du Liban amounted to 7.79M worth $42.4B in Q3 2019, compared to a total of 8.86M checks valued at $49.65B registered in the same period last year.
In details, the value of cleared checks denominated in Lebanese Pound (LP) slipped by 0.24% annually to $16.13B by September 2019, as the number of checks added 1.55% to 3.51M. Meanwhile, the value of checks denominated in foreign currency (mainly USD) decreased by 21.54% year-on-year (YOY) to $26.27B, as their number slipped by 20.8% to 4.28M checks over the same period. As such, the dollarization rate, in terms of volume and value, fell from 61.01% and 67.43% to 54.96% and 61.95%, respectively, by September 2019.
As for returned checks, they constituted 2.48% of the total value of checks by September of this year, to stand at 196,153 checks worth $1.05B, down from last year’s 201,004 checks worth $1.16B.
In the month of September 2019, the total value of cleared checks dropped by 9.71% to $5B, owing it partly to a 19.52% yearly decrease registered in the value of cleared checks denominated in foreign currency to $2.94B. Meanwhile, the value of checks denominated in LP, recorded a 9.3% yearly uptick, to settle at $2.06B in Sept. 2019.
Value of Cleared Checks by Sept. (in $B)