Desperate Lebanese depositors are taking their banks to court

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THIS WAS not how Rebecca Ego planned to use her law degree. In 2020 she was accepted into a master’s programme in America. It would cost $20,000 after scholarships, a sum she had in the bank. In Lebanon, though, getting money out of the bank is almost impossible: lenders have imposed harsh, arbitrary capital controls amid a financial crisis. Ms Ego was told she could not withdraw her funds.

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Like hundreds of Lebanese, she sued her bank for breach of contract. The case has languished for two years. One of her banks subsequently shut her account, cashing out her savings in a cheque no other bank will accept. “There’s no legal basis for any of this,” she says. “But there’s no judge who will say that.”

For almost three years, Lebanon’s banks…

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