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 5,850,941 checks by December 2020 to 3,139,881 checks by December 2021. Moreover, the value of total cleared checks declined yearly by 32.33% to reach $36.42B by December 2021.
In details, the value of checks in LBP dropped by 6.51% year-on-year (YOY) to reach $18.64B, while value of checks in foreign currencies decreased by 47.53% YOY to reach $17.78B by December 2021.
The volumes of cleared checks denominated in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 46.91% and 45.86% to settle at 1,516,872 and 1,620,809 checks, respectively by December 2021.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value went down from last year’s 62.95% to 48.82% by December 2021. In contrast, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume rose from last year’s 51.17% to 51.62% by December 2021.
Notably, the number of returned checks fell by a substantial 77.09% YOY to 25,046 checks while the value of the returned checks retreated by 41.67% YOY over the same period to reach $559M by December 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 December (in $B).