The Association of Banks in Lebanon went against the government’s decision and decided to close all banks until the 29th of March in light of the COVID19 crisis. The decision was taken according to ABL to ensure the safety of employees, clients and their families.

Banks will continue to replenish fully their ATMs and ITMs (when applicable), and will perform all operations related to payroll processing, urgent transfers of funds, or issuance of cards.

I am not sure I understand the government’s rationale here. A lot of banks are shutting down their branch services worldwide to limit the virus spread and it is normal for branches to shut down when a national health emergency is declared. Why should they take risks when everyone else isn’t?