Wazni asks prosecution to revoke ABL’s decision to close banks

BEIRUT: Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni Monday asked the Public Prosecution to act swiftly to revoke the Association of Banks decision to close all banks until March 29.

Wazni told the state-run National News Agency that ABL’s decision was “haste” and did not take into consideration citizen’s best interests.

ABL had announced that all banking operations will close starting Tuesday until March 29 over coronavirus. Customers, however, can still withdraw cash from ATMs.

The ABL decision came in response to the demands of the Syndicate of Bank employees, who have stressed that the coronavirus pandemic poses a threat to staff.

ABl added that banks will continue to provide regular services to customers.

In a statement to the press earlier in the day, the Syndicate of Bank employees told ABL that bank employees prefer to remain at home, and threatened to take legal action if the administration ordered them to return to work.

“The syndicate is requesting that the association oblige its entire staff in all branches to stay in their homes until the general conditions return to the way they were before the outbreak of the ‘coronavirus’ pandemic, under penalty of accountability and punishment in case of non-compliance with the administration’s request,” the statement added.

It said attendance at public administrations should be limited to those working in departments that carry out tasks related to treasury, transfers, information and accounting.

The syndicate insisted that the staff should work in rotation in the departments until March 29 of this year.

The government Sunday declared a state of emergency until March 29 to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

It asked all private companies to close with the exception of hospitals, pharmacies, bakeries, supermarkets and banks.

The syndicate said that banks could provide cash withdrawal service from ATMs and secure cash for companies and economic institutions in order to cover the endemic salaries in banks.

“Giving customers who do not have cards … can simply contact the ‘Call Center’ and they will be provided with a cash withdrawal service, thus avoiding friction with our colleagues working in the customer service departments. The syndicate also decided to keep its meetings open to keep pace with these developments,” the statement added.

2020-03-17T17:51:07+02:00March 17th, 2020|

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