BEIRUT — The Association of Banks in Lebanon announced Monday that bank branches will remain closed in the coming days but will continue providing reduced services to their customers, after they closed their doors last Friday, following a series of bank holdups and actions of depositors seeking to withdraw their money blocked by banks' illegal restrictions.
Here's what we know:
• "For the next few days, the banks will maintain the same security and organizational measures currently in effect, providing their services through ATMs for individuals and customer service for businesses, for the time being," ABL said in a statement. The association added that each institution should establish its own internal operational organization.
• This is the second time that banks have remained closed for such a long time, to protest against actions taken by customers. They had already done so between Sept. 19 to Sept. 26, in protest after seven robberies in Beirut and outlying areas, but eventually reopened with increased security measures.
• A new series of actions were carried out last week by depositors, including Forces of Change MP, associated with the Oct. 17 revolution, Cynthia Zarazir. A branch in the port city of Jbeil was shot at by a disgruntled depositor last Wednesday and there was a series of warnings of a potential escalation targeting the homes of bank owners.