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1 HISTORY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF BANQUE DU LIBAN BDL History Following the downfall of the Ottoman Empire in September 1918 the Turkish Pound was replaced by a Sterling based Egyptian currency as legal tender in the states under the French and British mandate The Egyptian Pound was issued by a private British institution the National Bank of Egypt and had been previously used by the British since much of their supplies were from Egypt After taking Lebanon and Syria under its mandate the French government sought the substitution of the Egyptian currency in order to alleviate the burden on the French Government in covering its expenditures in Egyptian Pound and to assert its independence from the British However the use of the post war French Franc would have further exhausted the French Treasury The alternative was to grant a commercial bank the exclusive right to issue a currency for the States under Mandate 1919-1924 The Banque de Syrie The Banque de Syrie a French company affiliate of the Ottoman bank was established in 1919 with an initial capital of FF 10 million later increased to FF 255 million Of its 51 thousand shares about 22 were owned by the Ottoman bank and 78 by French shareholders 1924-1964 The Banque de Syrie et du Liban In January 1924 a convention was signed between the Banque de Syrie and Lebanon and Syria as States under the French Mandate following the constitution of their national government As the political status of Lebanon evolved the Banque de Syrie which was to act as the official bank of the states under the French Mandate was renamed the Banque de Syrie et du Liban BSL BSL was granted the following privileges by the 1924 Convention including The sole right to issue the French-based-Lebanese-Syrian currency in Lebanon and Syria for 15 years at FF 20 to the pound These could be
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