Top Banks in Lebanon

The following list summarizes introduces the banking sector and presents top banks in lebanon. The leading banks in lebanon are also called alpha banks. From 70 licences the largest banks include Bank Audi, Bloom Bank, BankMed and other alpha banks.


Top Banks in Lebanon

Top Banks in Lebanon

The following list summarizes introduces the banking sector and presents top banks in lebanon. The leading banks in lebanon are also called alpha banks. From 70 licences the largest banks include Bank Audi, Bloom Bank, BankMed and other alpha banks.

Lebanese banking sector is one of the strongest in the region with a supportive regulator. According to Central Bank of Lebanon there are currently (number of banks in Lebanon is) 70 foreign, investment and commercial banks operating in Lebanon with a branch network of 947 according to Bank Audi. Top 10 banks (alpha banks) control approximately 80% share of the market. The total assets of the banking sector stood at US$ 144 billion in 2012. In 2011 the sector employed around 20,965 people. Because of the dollarization of the economy two third of the banks’ balance sheet is in dollars and one third in Lebanese pounds.

The main feature of the banking system in Lebanon is high levels of liquidity with the deposits reaching US$ 117 billion in 2012 and loans to the private sector at US$ 41 billion. The banking sector is very liquid and that is the reason that makes the Lebanese banks very resilient. 83-84% of deposits in Lebanese banks are from the Lebanese residents and 16-17% are from non-residents (a big portion of those numbers are from Lebanese who are living abroad).

The banking sector has relatively high exposure to the government standing at around US$ 28 billion in 2012 making it the highest risk for the banking sector. Lebanese banking sector is known to adhere to the latest adoption of the international best practices such as Basel III accords. (Basel II ratio stood at 11.8%). In 2011 Lebanese banks enjoyed healthy financial ratios: with ROE 14.8%, ROA 1.13%, Equity to assets at 7.7% and Non-performing loans at 3.5%.

The crisis in Syria affected certain banks that had exposure to the Syrian market increasing the amount of provisioning.

The Lebanese banking sector is open to competition and the Central Bank’s reserves are at historic peaks, up to more than 30 billion (not including the gold reserves). Lebanon enjoys the banking secrecy law.

Central Bank of Lebanon
Association of Banks in Lebanon  

Top Banks in Lebanon

The Bank is a full fledged regional bank with a presence in 11 countries. Based on a diversified universal model, it operates principally in Lebanon and the Middle East North Africa (“MENA”) region and offering a full range of products and services that cover principally commercial and corporate banking, retail and individual banking, on-line brokerage, private banking and investment banking. As of end-March 2012, according to Bankdata, based on unaudited financial statements of banks operating in the Lebanese Republic provided to Bankdata by such banks, the Bank ranked first among Lebanese banks in terms of total assets (US$ 28.7billion), shareholders’ equity (US$ 2.5 billion), customers’ deposits (US$ 24.4 billion), loans and advances (US$ 8.9 billion) and profit (US$ 94.5 million). As of March 31, 2012, the Bank had on of the largest branch network in Lebanon, with 80 branches covering the Greater Beirut area and other strategic regions in Lebanon, as well as a network of 73 branches in the MENA region (outside Lebanon), including twelve branches in Jordan. Since 2005, the Bank has undertaken significant regional expansion and ranks fourth among the top 15 Arab banking institutions in the MENA region by assets in terms of regional coverage with operations in ten countries, excluding Lebanon, through a network of branches and subsidiaries developed mainly through green-field operations. As of March 31, 2012, the Bank and its consolidated subsidiaries had 4,839 employees, including 2,924 persons employed in Lebanon.

Shareholders: 30,33% Public, 34,56% Shareholders with less than 5%: Middle East Opportunities for Structured Finance, Investment Finance Opportunities, Investment and Business Holding, Sabbah family, M1 Investments, Mal Investment One Holding, Phoenicia Enterprises, Khoury family, 8,08% Al Homaizi Family (Kuwait), 8,07% Audi Family, 6,84% Saradar Family, 6,72% Sheikh Diab bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE), 5,25% Abdullah Al Hobayb (Saudi Arabia). (source)

Shareholders: Audi Family 7.02%, Saradar Family 6.66%, Al Homaizi Family (Kuwait) 6.10%, Sheikh Dhiab Bin Zayed Al-Nehayan (UAE) 5.10%, Investment Finance Opportunities Ltd (Lebanon) 4.88%, Middle East Opportunities For Structured Finance Ltd (Lebanon) 4.86%, Al Sabbah Family (Kuwait) 4.82%, Investment and Business Holding sal (Lebanon) 3.94%, MAL Investment One Holding sal (Lebanon) 3.94%, Abdullah Ibrahim Al Hobayb (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) 2.66%, El Khoury Family (Lebanon) 2.56%, Others 18.41%, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas 29.05%. (source)
Assets: USD 28,8 billion in 2012

Constantly developing and improving its services, BLOM BANK Group provides universal banking services that meet all of its clients’ needs. These services include: Commercial Banking, Corporate Banking, Private and Investment Banking, Asset Management, Retail Banking, Islamic Banking, Brokerage Services and Insurance Products and Services.

Throughout the years, BLOM BANK has also maintained a track record of exceptional performance that carried over to this year. BLOM’s operational and managerial efficiency has enabled it to maintain in Q1-2012 the lowest cost–to-income ratio among its peers at 36.5 percent, which helped generate a rise in its Q1-2012 profits to $84.12 MM. This also implied the highest return on average equity among listed banks at 17.7 percent. In addition, assets increased to a total of $23.8bn and customers deposits increased to a total of $20.7bn at end of Q1-2012.

Moreover, BLOM’s consolidated Basel III Capital Adequacy – as at March 2012 – reflected solid solvency with a ratio of 13 percent, well above the international required minimum of 8 percent. Additionally, Tier I capital increased by 10.5 percent to $2.05bn (from end March 2011), attributed mainly to increases in retained profits. In fact, the Bank’s policy is to strike a balance with respect to maximizing its shareholder value without compromising its Tier I capital growth.

BLOM BANK’s strategy is based on measured regional expansion to markets with strong fundamentals and on the diversification of its universal services so as to become a leading regional bank in the Arab world. In this respect, BLOM BANK has the widest foreign presence among Lebanese Banks, and is currently present in the following 12 countries: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, UAE, France, UK, Switzerland, Romania, Cyprus, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. It conducts its worldwide operations through a network of more than 203 banking and financial units, either directly or through its subsidiaries.

Shareholders: Bank of New York 34.37%, Banorabe S.A., SPF 13.69%, AZA Holding (Azhari Family over 50%) 9.33%, Azhari Family 2.86%, Actionnaires Unis 1.83%, Shaker Holdings S.A.L. 5.39%, Mrs. Nada Aoueini 5%, Jaroudy Family 3.52%, Saade Family 2.53%, Khoury Family 1.97%, Others 19.51%.
Assets: USD 23,8 billion in 1Q/2012

 Byblos Bank
Established in Jbeil, Lebanon, in 1950, the Byblos Bank Group is a leading financial institution focused on domestic and selected overseas markets. Byblos Bank now has an extensive branch network spread evenly across Lebanon. The Group also has expanded to several other countries, including Armenia, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and, most recently, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Shareholders: Public 32.76%, Byblos Invest Holding 26.81%, Bank of New York 12.12%, International Finance Corporation 8%, Others (Anasco Holding Company, Francois Semaan Bassil, Rami Rifaat El Nemr, Societe de Promotion et de Participation Pour La Cooperation Economique, Frabas Corp, Blominvest Bank, Vectra Holding, Blankeney Limited, Ali Hassan Al Dayekh) 20.31%.
Assets: USD 16,6 billion in 2011

Fransabank Group banking and finance legacy dates back to more than nine decades of excellence supported by its very responsible role in the multidimensional development of the economies and communities it serves. The Group has succeeded in establishing, developing and consolidating a competitive edge that earned it a leading position amongst the Lebanese banking community and the countries into which it expanded. Today, Fransabank Group has a consolidated presence in eight countries: Lebanon, France, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Libya, most recently in Cyprus and very soon in Iraq. The Group also ranks first in terms of local branch network with 108 branches strategically spread all over the country, providing the Lebanese community with all types of banking products and services to satisfy their personal and professional banking wants and needs.

Shareholders: Adnan Kassar 36.48%, Adel Kassar 36.48%, Crédit Agricole SA (2) 6%, others.
Assets: USD 14,459 billion in 2011

Headquartered in Beirut, BankMed is one of the top five banks in Lebanon. Originally established in 1944, under Beirut CR 5261 – Banks List No: 22, its market share – measured by total assets – has grown over the years to comprise around 10% of the total of the Lebanese banking system today. BankMed, through its 51 branches spread all over Lebanon, and one in Cyprus, offers a wide range of novel products and quality services to both individuals and corporations. BankMed’s private bank in Switzerland, BankMed Suisse, is engaged in asset-management and advisory banking services, through its offices in Geneva. BankMed’s regional presence was expanded to Turkey in 2007 with the addition of a subsidiary commercial bank, T-Bank, to the Group. In 2008 the SaudiMed Investment Company was launched in Riyadh which provides investment and corporate advisory services to a growing base of customers in the Kingdom and elsewhere in Middle East. By the end of 2009, BankMed’s total assets stood at around US$10.6 billion, it had customer deposits of approximately US$8.2billion and total loans of just over US$3.1 billion. BankMed has a client-portfolio currently exceeding 130,000 customers.
Assets: USD 11,791 billion in 2011

Société Générale de Banque au Liban
Assets: USD 10,530 billion in 2011

Banque Libano-Française
Assets: USD 10,157 billion in 2011

Bank of Beirut
Assets: USD 9,729 billion in 2011

Credit Libanais
Assets: USD 7,148 billion in 2011

Assets: USD 4,338 billion in 2011

For the full list of banks in Lebanon click here.
For the overview of ownership click here.

Top Banking Institutions in Lebanon

The Central Bank of Lebanon
The Banque du Liban was established by the Code of Money and Credit promulgated on 1st August 1963, by Decree no. 13513. It started to operate effectively on 1st April, 1964. BDL is a legal public entity enjoying financial and administrative autonomy. It is not subject to the administrative and management rules and controls applicable to the public sector. Its capital is totally appropriated by the State.

Association of Banks in Lebanon

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