Number of Fresh Checks Recorded 1,245 by End of January 2024

According to the data published by the Association of Lebanese Banks’ (ABL), the total number of cleared checks in the Lebanese financial system decreased from 68,843 checks by January 2023 to 23,225 checks by January 2024.

Moreover, the volumes of cleared checks in Lebanese Pounds and foreign currencies witnessed significant yearly drops of 58.07% and 84.30% respectively to settle at 19,849 and 3,376 checks, by January 2024. Accordingly, the dollarization rate of checks in terms of volume fell from 31.23% in January 2023 to 14.54% in January 2024.

Notably, the number of returned checks fell substantially by 67.43% YOY to stand at 171 checks. Moreover, the value of returned checks in foreign currency increased by 60% by January 2024 to reach $16M; however, the value of returned checks in local currency decreased by 22.16% YOY to reach LBP 137B in January 2024.

Banque du Liban (BDL) recently issued Circular 165, which permits depositors to make payments by check starting from June 1st, 2023, as long as their accounts are in either fresh US dollars or Lebanese lira. To support this initiative, BDL has introduced a new clearing system, distinct from the one dedicated to pre-crisis deposits. This circular serves a dual purpose: it encourages customers to open new accounts in both Lebanese pounds and US dollars, while also aiming to decrease the country’s dependence on cash and stimulate economic recovery. As such, in January 2024, a total number of 1,245 checks were issued from fresh accounts, of which 870 checks are in USD currency amounting $9.93M and 375 checks are in LBP currency amounting LBP 632B. The January 2024 recorded 1,245 checks represent 51.98% of total checks issued since the introduction of the new clearing system in July 2023 (6 months period). Moreover, the checks issued from USD fresh accounts in January 2024 represented 69.88% of total checks compared to 30.12% in fresh LBP.

When comparing the number of checks issued in January 2024 with those issued in December 2023, the number stood at 1,245 checks in January 2024 from 815 checks in December 2023.

Number of Checks by January 2024 (in Thousands)

Number of Fresh Checks Recorded 1,245 by End of January 2024



By Helmi Mrad



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