Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by U.S. sanctions

Lebanon’s Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by U.S. sanctions
Lebanon's Jammal Trust Bank forced to close by U.S. sanctions

Lebanon's Jammal Trust Bank has been forced to wind itself down after being hit last month by U.S. sanctions for allegedly helping to fund the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, the bank said on Thursday.

The central banksaid the value of the bank's assets, and its share of the national depositguarantee body, were "in principle enough to pay all deposits andcommitments."

Jammal Trust Bank denied the U.S. allegations in August after the bank and its subsidiaries were hit with sanctions, accused of helping to fund the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon.

"Despite itssound financial situation … and its full compliance with banking regulations,the (bank) was forced to take the decision to liquidate itself in fullcoordination with the central bank," Jammal Trust said in a statement.

The bank has 25branches in Lebanon and representative offices in Nigeria, the Ivory Coast andBritain, its website says.

It is a relativelysmall lender, with net assets of 1,600 billion Lebanese pounds ($1 billion) atthe end of 2017, according to the annual report on the latest year for whichdata is available.

Washington has sought to choke off Hezbollah's funding worldwide, with sanctions among a slew of steps against Tehran since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran.

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