Lebanon Central Bank Told to Hand Over Data for Vital Audit, Presidency Says

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Lebanon Central Bank Told to Hand Over Data for Vital Audit, Presidency Says

Lebanon’s president told Governor Riad Salameh on Wednesday to provide data for a forensic audit of the central bank, saying the restructuring consultancy Alvarez & Marcel (A&M) had said it did not have information it needed just a month after starting.

President Michel Aoun made the comments in a meeting with Salameh and Finance Minister Youssef Khalil about the audit, part of efforts to address the fallout from Lebanon’s financial collapse in 2019 that has left swathes of the nation in poverty.

The governor and minister told the president they were “doing what is necessary” to meet A&M’s requests as quickly as possible, the presidency said in a statement.

A&M previously withdrew from auditing the central bank in November 2020 because it did not receive data required to carry out the task. It agreed to return in September 2021 after the authorities promised to ensure it received everything it needed.

An official source told Reuters that A&M had informed the presidency a few days earlier it would again withdraw if it did not receive more information from the central bank.

A&M and the central bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Source: Reuters