Lebanon 2018 | FINANCE | COLUMN

TBY talks to Jean Riachi, Chairman & CEO, FFA Private Bank, on the finance sector.

Jean Riachi

What steps has the bank taken to adapt to new technologies and trends?

In recent years, FFA Private Bank has become digitally proficient. We have always believed that banks have to keep up with new technologies, not to merely follow the trend but also to ensure the best experience for our customers.

With regards to high-income management, what strategies do you take to attract the Lebanese diaspora?

We have big plans for investment in infrastructure in Lebanon, which will change the macroeconomic picture of the country. Our aim is to help infrastructure companies in Lebanon raise capital. Most of this support will come from international organizations, although part of the funds will have to come from private investors and others from the diaspora. We have a strong banking sector in Lebanon, and most of the infrastructure projects cannot be financed the traditional way for many reasons. First, these are long-term investments, and banks have a mismatch with their short-term deposits. Second, the yields are not right for banking placements. Third, commercial banks in Lebanon do not offer loans on a non-record basis. Therefore, we can play a major role in raising money for such projects.