According to the data published by the Association of Lebanese Banks’ (ABL), the total number of cleared checks in the Lebanese financial system slumped from 4,955,345 checks by October 2020 to 2,745,805 checks by October 2021. Moreover, the value of total cleared checks declined yearly by 31.72% to reach $30.82B by October 2021.
In details, the value of checks in LBP dropped by 7.52% year-on-year (YOY) to reach $15,076M, while value of checks in foreign currencies decreased by 45.38% YOY to reach $15,751M by October 2021.
The volumes of cleared checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 44.59% and 46.42% to settle at 1,308,541 and 1,435,064 checks, respectively by October 2021.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value went down from last year’s 63.87% to 51.09% by October 2021. In contrast, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume rose from last year’s 50.71% to 52.26% by October 2021.
Notably, the number of returned checks fell by a substantial 77.83% YOY to 22,388 checks while the value of the returned checks retreated by 44.76% YOY over the same period to reach $465M by October 2021. Noting that banker checks are more often used to conduct check payment transactions, therefore the number of returned checks have considerably declined.
Value of Cleared Checks by Currency, by October (in $B)
Source: ABL, BLOMINVEST