Lebanon is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
The Lebanese Central Bank said on Thursday that it will meet all the data requirements of consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) for forensic audits of its accounts. There are reports that the company has withdrawn due to lack of cooperation.
The audit was seen as a key condition for the International Monetary Fund’s support program and other foreign aid to prevent Lebanon’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Since the pound peg to the 23-year-old U.S. dollar in 2019, little progress has been made in resolving the crisis.
In July last year, it fell to 24,000 against the U.S. dollar and traded at more than 24,200 on Thursday.
A bank statement stated that the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance held a virtual meeting with A&M on Thursday, and emphasized that they “fully cooperated” to complete the audit.
Governor Riad Salameh stated that the Bank of Libya will fulfill all requests for information made before December 29, and the bank secrecy law suspended by the parliament will come into force again.
Salameh told Reuters that the central bank “recommended to start a forensic audit now.”
“It is up to the Ministry of Finance and (A&M) to decide whether more information is needed for the audit… [The central bank] Will comply. “
Due to lack of cooperation, A&M withdrew from similar audits a year ago. An official source told Reuters on Wednesday that A&M had notified the president that it would withdraw again due to delays in providing data.
An A&M spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was established in September after a year of tortuous negotiations between Lebanese parties and has been working hard to develop its business.
As the Iran-backed Hezbollah armed movement and its allies pushed for the removal of judges investigating the collapse of the previous government in the Beirut port bombing in August 2020, the committee has not met for more than 40 days.
Salameh told Reuters in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that the government has not yet reached an agreement on the financial data to be submitted to the IMF, which is a basic requirement to start negotiations.