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BDL Basic Circular No. 126

BDL Basic Circular No. 126
Addressed to Banks and Financial Institutions,

The Relationship between Banks and Financial Institutions and their Correspondents

Article 1:

Banks and financial institutions operating in Lebanon must:

  1. Implement strictly the Regulations for the Control of Financial and Banking Operations for Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, particularly with customers who request the conduct of cross-border operations by way of correspondent banks and financial institutions, by:

    1. Adopting a risk-based approach and vetting the identity of both the customers and the economic right owner and obtaining the requisite information and setting procedures for monitoring their operations and accounts on an ongoing basis.
    2. Updating their database for money laundering and terrorist financing operations, in conformity with the provisions of this Decision.
    3. Notifying the Special Investigation Commission of any operation suspected of contravening the obligations set out in this Decision.

  2. Be fully informed of the laws and regulations governing their correspondents abroad, and deal with the latter in conformity with the laws, regulations, procedures, sanctions and restrictions adopted by international legal organizations or by the sovereign authorities in the correspondents' home countries.

    Within this scope, banks and financial institutions must adopt the utmost accuracy and due diligence to vet the identity of the economic right owner in the operations conducted.

    The provisions of this Article shall govern any dealings between banks and financial institutions operating in Lebanon, and their branches, subsidiaries or sister companies abroad.

  3. Control the transactions on payable-through accounts and strictly implement the enhanced due diligence measures on concerned customers.

Article 2:

External auditors must check banks and financial institutions’ compliance with the provisions of this Decision. They must also insert in their report on the procedures adopted to control financial and banking operations for fighting money laundering and terrorist financing, detailed information about their inspection of the adopted procedures, the results of their audit, and their remarks in this regard.

Article 3:

Any party violating the provisions of this Decision shall incur the administrative sanctions stipulated in the applicable laws and regulations, particularly the sanctions stipulated in Article 208 of the Code of Money and Credit.

Article 4:

This Decision shall come into force upon its issuance.

Article 5:

This Decision shall be published in the Official Gazette.

Beirut, April 5, 2012
The Governor of the Banque du Liban
Riad Toufic Salamé