BEIRUT: A senior U.S. Treasury official said Lebanese banks were the most prudent in the Arab world in applying all international measures to combat money laundering and terrorism funding.

“Lebanese banks are the most prudent in implementing the international criteria to combat terrorism,” Daniel L. Glaser, the U.S. assistant secretary for the Department of the Treasury, told participants in a U.S. Federal Reserve conference in Washington.

The event, which was attended by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Banks Wissam Fattouh and senior officials from the World Bank, highlighted the efforts by all countries to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.

But Glaser expressed some concern about the lack of cooperation by some Arab countries in combating this phenomenon.

“The Arab banks, especially those located in Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Syria, should work harder in enforcing the rules and regulations pertaining to fighting money laundering and terrorism finance. They should have clearer vision in understanding risk management,” the U.S. official said.

Fattouh said the Union of Arab Banks is deeply involved in the international campaign against terrorism financing.

“The Arab banking sector is fully committed to the highest criteria of banking operations and especially in anti-money laundering and terrorism financing. These efforts have helped buttress the banks and financial institutions, and give them more trust locally and internationally,” Fattouh said.

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