BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Lebanese capital control bill will be debated by parliamentary committees on Monday and put to a vote on Tuesday if the text is accepted, two lawmakers said, a new attempt to pass the long-delayed law in middle of a deadlock between banks and some judges.

A statement issued on Saturday by the office of Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami said that this week’s meetings with the IMF had mainly focused on obtaining the IMF’s opinion and comments on the draft law on the capital controls.

The draft had been referred to parliamentary committees for discussion on Monday and was on the agenda for Tuesday’s parliamentary session, the statement added. Chami told Reuters comments from the IMF had been incorporated into the draft.

Ruling politicians have failed to pass a capital control law since 2019, when Lebanon descended into a financial crisis that crippled the banking system and froze depositors in US dollar accounts.

Formal capital controls are a policy recommendation from the IMF, from which Lebanon hopes to get an aid package.

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The latest draft returns to parliament amid escalating rows between some judges and banks, seven of whom had their assets frozen by court order this month in three separate actions.

The banks criticized what they called “arbitrary and illegal measures” against them and renewed their demand for the government to introduce a capital control law.

Lebanese judges recently ruled in favor of at least two depositors who filed a lawsuit demanding that savings be paid out in cash. In a high-profile overseas case, a London court in February ruled in favor of a saver seeking $4 million deposited with Bank Audi and its counterpart SGBL.

The project was last discussed a few weeks ago.

“The last draft will be discussed in parliamentary committees on Monday, and – depending on the outcome of the discussions to amend it on Monday, and if an agreement is reached – it will be voted on on Tuesday,” said Alain Aoun, senior legislator. with the Free Patriotic Movement, told Reuters.

MP Yassine Jaber of the Amal Movement said lawmakers had expressed reservations about parts of the proposals, but they would be put to a vote on Tuesday if approved. “In principle, we all agree that we need a law,” he told Reuters.

As more depositors seek to sue banks, banks have closed accounts and issued checks for the balance without consulting customers, lawyers acting for the depositors say.

The British embassy said on Friday it was “deeply concerned” by the closure by Lebanese banks of accounts belonging to nationals or residents of the United Kingdom.

(Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Christina Fincher)

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