The total number of cleared checks in the Lebanese financial system slumped from 5M checks in H1 2019 to 3M checks in H1 this year, as per the data published by the Association of Lebanese Banks’ (ABL). Moreover, the value of total cleared checks declined by a yearly 3.8% to $26.45B by June 2020.
In detail, the decreases in the value of total checks can be attributed to the downticks in the values of checks denominated in both, Lebanese pounds (LBP) and in foreign currencies which dropped by 7.8% year-on-year (YOY) and 1.4% YOY, to $9.51B and $16.94B, respectively, in H1 2020.
Meanwhile, the volumes of cleared checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies fell by a yearly 39.9% and 47.2% to settle at 1,547,036 checks and 1,494,031checks, respectively, over the same period.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value went from last year’s 62.49% to 64.04% by June 2020. Meanwhile, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume fell from last year’s 55.90% to 49.13% in H1 2020.
Notably, the number of returned checks in the half of the year fell by a substantial 39%YOY to 79,671 checks while the value of the returned checks retreated by 18.9% YOY over the same period to reach $568M by June 2020.
Value of Cleared Checks in H1 (in $B)
Source: ABL, BlomInvest Bank