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U.S. hails Central Bank's financial safeguards.

Summary: The United States still considers Lebanon as the financial hub of the region and is pleased by the measures taken by the Central Bank to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing, a financial adviser said Thursday.

BEIRUT: The United States still considers Lebanon as the financial hub of the region and is pleased by the measures taken by the Central Bank to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing, a financial adviser said Thursday.

"Some of the speakers from the Federal Reserve who attended a forum in Beirut said they were extremely satisfied with measures taken by the Central Bank to combat money laundering. But they do realize that there should be additional enhancement that needs to be made. Up till know, they still consider Lebanon as the financial hub of the region. They consider that Central Bank of Lebanon has fulfilled all the regulatory requirements they have requested and beyond," the adviser told The Daily Star on condition of anonymity.

The forum was entitled "Post Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned" which was organized by the Union of Arab Banks and attended by officials from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"The speakers were talking about regulations, legislations and they talked about how the Central Bank should protect the consumers and the banking sector," the adviser said.

He added that the speakers considered the Central Bank of Lebanon to be one of the strongest Central Banks in the world in terms of protecting the depositor and the banking sector from any possible high risk.

Joseph Torbey, Chairman of the World Union of Arab Bankers, said at the opening of the conference that the recent global financial crisis has led to a deep revision of the systems, legislations and financial regulations in every country around the world.

He added that many public and private institutions carried out a comprehensive survey and studies to determine the cause of the financial crisis which rocked the world.

"These studies showed many weak points that were the cause of the financial crisis in the United States and which spread to other countries that have advanced financial and banking systems," Torbey explained.

He added that among the weaknesses in the financial system were investments in high-risk instruments, securitizations and resecuritizations.

"Faced with these realities, the banking control commissions around the world have developed new banking criteria and placed new international benchmarks that will help banks be more shock-absorbent by determining banking risks in a comprehensive manner," Torbey said.

He added that Basel Committee had a leading role in the field of developing regulations and laws to protect the banking system from any future shock in the future.

"These resolutions have touched on important matters such as the capital base, capital adequacy ratios, stress tests and governance in the banks," Torbey said.

Other speakers at the forum also focused on recent laws and regulations designed to protect the financial systems around the world.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Sep 9, 2016
Words:502
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