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 2,350,757 checks from August 2021 to 1,225,373 checks by August 2022. Consequently, the value of total cleared checks decreased yearly by 13.47% to reach $22.60B by August 2022.
In more details, the value of checks in LBP increased remarkably from $12.34B in August 2021 to reach $15.16B by August 2022, while value of checks in foreign currencies decreased significantly by 46.05% year on year (YOY) to reach $7.43B by August 2022.
Moreover, the volumes of cleared checks in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 41.14% and 53.78% respectively to settle at 646,510 and 578,863 checks, by August 2022.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value declined from 52.76% in August 2021 to 32.90% by August 2022. In the same token, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume fell by August 2022, to reach 47.24% instead of 53.28% by August 2021.
Notably, the number of returned checks fell substantially by 54.80% YOY to stand at 8,480 checks while the value of returned checks retreated by 38.80% YOY to reach $203M by August 2022. Noting that banker checks are recently being more used to conduct check payment transactions, thus decreasing the number of returned checks. In addition, checks are not being accepted as before as a mode of payment especially with the economy is heading towards a full cash-dollarization one, and with the notable decline in Real Estate transactions.
Value of Cleared Checks by Currency, by August (in $B)
Source: ABL, BLOMINVEST