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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon provides 'updated' data for central bank audit

A financial audit is required for international support [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 April, 2021

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Auditors have been given new information to help them with their forensic audit of the Bank of Lebanon, which is required to secure funding.

Lebanon has provided an auditing firm with "updated" information for a stalled forensic audit of the central bank demanded by the international community, the finance ministry said Friday.

The International Monetary Fund and France are among creditors demanding an audit of Banque du Liban as part of urgent reforms to unlock financial support, as the country faces its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The finance ministry said the central bank had sent it "the updated list of information requested by the forensic auditing firm Alvarez and Marsal and the ministry has sent it on to the firm".

It did not specify whether all the requested data had been provided.

New York-based Alvarez and Marsal in November pulled out from the audit after the central bank claimed that provisions including Lebanon's banking secrecy law prevented it from releasing some of the necessary information.

Read more: Lebanon can save its economy, just not with the help of the IMF

Outgoing finance minister Ghazi Wazni has said less than half the required data was provided.

Lebanon's parliament in December approved a bill that suspends banking secrecy laws for one year to allow for the forensic audit.

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