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 173,378 checks by January 2022 to 68,843 checks by January 2023. However, the value of total cleared checks increased yearly by 104.28% to reach $5.38B by January 2023. This upsurge is driven by a significant increase in value of Lebanese checks which reflects a larger percentage of discounting Lebanese checks in the market.
As such, the value of checks in LBP increased remarkably from $1.65B in January 2022 to reach $4.53B by January 2023, while value of checks in foreign currencies decreased by 13.18% year on year (YOY) to reach $0.86B by January 2023.
Moreover, the volumes of cleared checks in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 44.63% and 75.53% respectively to settle at 47,343 and 21,500 checks, by January 2023.
Accordingly, the dollarization of cleared checks in terms of value declined from 37.42% in January 2022 to 15.9% by January 2023. In the same token, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume fell from 50.68% in January 2022 to 31.23% in January 2023.
Notably, the number of returned checks fell substantially by 63.34% YOY to stand at 525 checks while the value of returned checks increased remarkably by 387.18% YOY to reach $126M by January 2023.
Value of Cleared Checks by Currency, by January 2023 (in $B)
Source: ABL, BLOMINVEST