In response to mounting demands from irate depositors for their cash, Lebanese banks plan to suspend all financial activity for three days beginning on Monday.
According to Reuters, armed depositors stormed five banks on Friday.
Two bankers said that due to mounting security concerns, Lebanese banks would shortly announce a three-day closure the following week.
Due to an economic situation that prevents many individuals from being able to pay for necessities, Lebanon’s commercial banks have been enforcing capital controls since late 2019 by establishing withdrawal and transfer limits.
According to a security source who spoke to Reuters, a man who had a gun—which later turned out to be a toy—was apprehended after robbing a Lebanese bank in the southern city of Ghazieh.
An armed guy entered the Tariq al-Jdideh branch of the Lebanese bank BLOM bank in search of his deposit, according to a statement from the bank.
The bank did clarify that it had the problem under control.
Abed Soubra was hailed by a sizable gathering of people waiting outside, a scene that has occurred in other such occurrences.
“He’s a merchant and he’s in the right, and he could go to jail because people need money from him. What should he do? Go to jail because people need money from him while he has money in the bank?” a resident, Rabih Kojok, said from outside the bank.
In a third incident, a man armed with a pellet gun entered a branch of LGB bank in Beirut’s Ramlet al-Bayda area seeking to withdraw some $50,000 in savings, a bank employee said.
There are reports that Friday’s incidents followed two others in the capital of Beirut and another one in the town of Aley on Wednesday.
A woman who wanted cash for “hospital treatment for her cancer-stricken sister” wielded a gun and held some people as hostages at a branch of BLOM bank in Beirut and succeeded in leaving with more than $13,000 in cash from her account.
In Aley, Lebanon, another armed had entered a bank’s branch, BankMed, and retrieved some of his trapped savings before handing himself to authorities.