The HBC assumes the role of a supreme banking court whose decisions and rulings are final, including the imposition of sanctions on banks and financial institutions that violate banking regulations. Such sanctions may entail the appointment of new officers and even the revoking of banking licenses.
The Higher Banking Council is composed of six members:
1- The BDL Governor, who acts as chairman.
2- A Deputy Governor.
3- The Director General of the Ministry of Finance.
4- A high-ranking judge.
5- A member of the BCC.
6- The Director General of the National Deposit Guarantee Institution.
The BCC acts as a banking attorney general in that it refers, with proper documentation, banks that violate regulations to the BDL Governor, in his capacity of chairman of the Higher Banking Council. The BCC is required by law to regularly inform the BDL Governor (also in his capacity of chairman of the HBC) on the financial conditions of all banks and financial institutions operating in Lebanon.
At the start of its operations in April 1964, the main task of the Banque du Liban (BDL) was to assume the role of "the Bank of Syria and Lebanon", as an entity with the exclusive right to issue the national currency. Two years later, as the result of a banking boom, there were 96 commercial banks operating in Lebanon. But the banking business boom came to a halt in 1966, with a crisis-triggering failure of the leading commercial bank of the country, the Intra Bank. In response, the authorities enacted new laws and amended the Code of Money and Credit (CMC).
Three new entities were established in 1967:
1- The Banking Control Commission (BCC).
2- The Higher Banking Council (HBC).
3- The National Deposit Guarantee Institution (NDGI).
(last updated: 27-August-2003)
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