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 1,256K checks from April 2021 to 732,712 checks by April 2022. Consequently, the value of total cleared checks decreased yearly by 17.96% to reach $11.34B for the fourth month of 2022.
In details, the value of checks in LBP increased remarkably from $5.87B in April 2021 to reach $7.27B in April 2022, while value of checks in foreign currencies decreased significantly by 49% year on year (YOY) to reach $4.07B by April 2022. Arguably, the increase in the value of LBP checks could be attributed to the fact that, in the last quarter of year 2021, banks resumed lending companies facilities in LBP to be exclusively used in checks.
In addition, the volumes of cleared checks in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 33.95% and 47.95% respectively to settle at 372,150 and 360,562 checks, by April 2022.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value significantly declined in April 2022, to settle at 35.88%, instead of 57.54% in April 2021. In the same token, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume fell in April 2022, to reach 49.21% instead of 55.14% in April 2021.
Notably, the number of returned checks fell substantially by 53.21% YOY to stand at 5,218 checks while the value of returned checks retreated by 47.25% YOY to reach $96M by April 2022. Noting that banker checks are recently being more used to conduct check payment transactions, thus decreasing the number of returned checks.
Value of Cleared Checks by Currency, by April 2022 (in $B)
Source: ABL, BLOMINVEST