Bank raids are re-emerging in Lebanon amid economic crisis

The attempted bank robberies and sit-in protest on Wednesday illustrated the Lebanese people’s increasing desperation as the economy worsens.

There was a rise in desperation among Lebanese people as a result of the country’s worsening economic crisis on Wednesday, as two bank holdups and a sit-in protest were reported.

Bank raids by depositors demanding their money have been relatively infrequent during the past two months, but a string of incidents in recent days has again raised fears of growing unrest.

Lebanon’s cash-strapped banks since 2019 have imposed strict limits on withdrawals of foreign currency, tying up the savings of millions of people. About three-quarters of the population have slipped into poverty, as the tiny Mediterranean country’s economy continues to spiral.

On Wednesday, Amina Mohammad broke into a branch of the Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon in Tripoli demanding access to her savings to pay for an operation for her elderly mother.
The bank was forced to close its doors while staff negotiated with Mohammad and her mother.

Similarly on Wednesday, a former soldier, Rida Rida, stormed into a branch of Bank Audi in Tyre, southern Lebanon, demanding his $15,000 deposit to pay for cancer treatment for his mother. As well as Anis Tannous who staged a sit-in outside the Societe Generale de Banque au Liban branch in Amioun, northern Lebanon, preventing people from entering or leaving the bank.


Image Credit: AP Photo, Hussein Malla