Sfeir Calls for an Advanced Electoral System for the Association of Banks
Posted on 11/06/2018
Bank of Beirut Chairman-CEO, Dr. Salim Sfeir hosted an Iftar in tribute of the media and press at the Four Seasons Hotel – Beirut, in the presence of MP Paula Yacoubian, Director of the National News Agency, Laure Sleiman, President of the Press Syndicate, Aouni Al-Kaaki, President of Editors’ Syndicate, Elias Aoun and President of the Press Club Bassam Abu Zeid, together with a large assembly of media and banking figures.
In his opening note, Georges Aouad, Head of the Consumer Banking Division at Bank of Beirut welcomed the audience, highlighting the importance of this annual event that gathers Bank of Beirut with its media partners.
In his speech, Bank of Beirut Chairman pointed out that the persistent calls for radical reforms in the structure and working methods of the Association of Banks have somehow found a positive response, by engaging the international consulting firm "McKinsey" to conduct a study and propose solutions. This has been translated through the good governance development and the activation of internal work within the Association. Sfeir wished however that this positive progress would includ all aspects of the study and all suggestions, surprisingly noting that McKinsey has cast out the principle of "honest competition" by suggesting toreform the electoral system of the Association’s Board. Considering that this would eradicate the principle of democracy and the meaning of elections, and would abolish the equality right and the principle of representation and rotation, he rejected McKinsey's approach considering that it would be in the interest of one party, excluding any opportunity for others.
Sfeir added, “I urge my fellow colleagues in the sector as well as the public opinion to join efforts in order to establish an advanced electoral system for the Association of Banks; a system that would safeguard the Association’s core mission, being the joint effort for the development of our banking sector, for only positive and legitimate competition could guarantee progress and preserve the public interest.
The President of the Press Syndicate Aouni Kaaki expressed his deep gratitude to Dr. Sfeir, for his generous initiative that annually honors the media in a convivial Ramadan gathering, stating that Sfeir is "a national figure who plays a prominent role in the Lebanese society, at the human, financial and economic levels”. 
The President of Editors’ Syndicate, Elias Aoun also conveyed his thanks to Dr. Sfeir: “Your kind initiative towards the media family is highly appreciated and deserves all respect, as do also our dear journalists who are constantly lighting the paths of the society even in the darkest circumstances and bearing the torch of freedom and development against all odds.
In her improvised speech, MP Paula Yacoubian considered that there is no free civil society without free economy, without free market and free commerce. She then tackled the concept of civil society raising some questions around it,”Are we the ones who decide who the civil society is? Are we the ones to decide how to frame it? And is it this society who bears the concerns of the people? But the people’s concerns are everywhere and more specifically with those who are fighting economically in this country in order to persist and survive so that Lebanon remains strong. And this is a big challenge for you Dr. Sfeir and for the banking sector you represent, if I may give my opinion in my name and the name of my media colleagues who concur with me.”
Trophies were then presented by Dr. Sfeir to the honorees, as a token of recognition and appreciation.
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