Lebanese banks to reopen as withdrawal limits made official

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s bank staff union has announced it’s ending a week-long strike after increased security and new regulations that make limits on withdrawal and dollar transfers official.

The union said Monday banks will reopen the following day.

Banks have been at the center of anti-government protests, as demonstrators accused them of corruption and mismanagement. They had closed with the eruption of protests on Oct. 17, opening only for a week. Depositers then rushed in to withdraw money, but banks had begun imposing informal capital controls that angered many clients and added to the turmoil, prompting the employees’ strike.

On Saturday, security forces said they will boost security around banks. A day later, the Banks Association declared formal controls, limiting withdrawals to $1,000 per week, and transfers abroad to “urgent matters.”

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