Founded: 1944
Total Assets*: US$15.53 billion
Customer Deposits*: US$11.64 billion
Ranking by Assets*: 5

(*as of Dec 31, 2019, ABL Almanac 2022, converted at LL1507.5/US$) 


BankMed SAL (formerly known as Banque de la Méditerranée SAL) was founded in 1944 in Beirut.[1] Today, the bank is closely associated with two-term Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and his descendants.[2] During Hariri’s first stint in office, 1992-98, he used BankMed, which he owned, as one of the primary financing vehicles for post-civil war reconstruction. In 1993, it was Hariri who appointed Riad Salameh, previously his private investment banker at Meryl Lynch, as central bank governor — a post Salameh has held since.[3]

The board of BankMed is composed of four members, two of which are politically exposed persons (PEPs): Raya Haffar el-Hassan and Nazik Audi Hariri. Another is occupied by GroupMed Holding SAL,[4] which is owned by Nazik Hariri, Saad Hariri, and Alaa al-Khawaja.[5]

Raya Haffar el-Hassan serves as CEO and Chairwoman of the board. She is a former minister of interior and municipalities (2019-20) and finance (2009-11).

Nazik Audi Hariri is Rafiq Hariri’s widow. Nazik’s daughter from her first marriage (her second being that to Rafiq) is married to Nizar Dalloul. Dalloul is the son of Mohsen Dalloul,[6] a former MP (1991-2004) and minister of agriculture.[7] Dalloul was also close to Hikmat al-Shihabi,[8] the former chief of staff of the Syrian army (1974-1998) and a member of former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad’s inner circle.[9]

BankMed is 99.9% owned by GroupMed Holding SAL,[10] the Hariri family’s investment vehicle.[11] It is owned by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri (2009-11, 2016-20) with a 42.5% stake (of which 25% is held through Teaminvest Holding SAL and the remaining 17.24% is held directly) and Nazek Hariri with a 15.52% stake.[12]

The remaining 42.24% stake in GroupMed Holding SAL was purchased in 2017 by OLT Holdings SAL from Ayman Hariri (a son of Rafiq and Nazak Hariri and half-brother to Saad) for $535 million.[13] OLT Holdings SAL is fully owned by Jordanian businessman Alaa el-Khawaja.[14]

The next year, el-Khawaja bought Oger International, the French subsidiary of Saudi Oger, from the Hariris.[15] Rafiq Hariri made his fortune in Saudi Arabia after having bought the construction firm in 1979 and receiving lucrative state contracts.[16] In 2017, the Saudi parent company filed for bankruptcy after Riyadh stopped granting the firm contracts amid allegations of corruption and embezzlement and a period of low oil prices.[17]


[1] Diebold Nixdorf, ‘Bankmed Launches First Deployment Of DN SeriesTM In Lebanon’, accessed 13 March 2023,

[2] ‘BankMed: On a Charm Offensive’, Executive Magazine (blog), 6 May 2015,

[3] Hicham Safieddine, Banking on the State: The Financial Foundations of Lebanon (Stanford University Press, 2019).

[4] Association des Banques du Liban.

[5] Ministry of Justice, ‘Commercial Registry of Lebanon’, accessed 9 March 2023,

[6] ‘nouvelles sociétés – Khalil Masri & Fils’, Commerce du Levant, 1 September 2005,

[7] Elaph Publishing Limited, ‘محسن دلول عميد المخبرين السوريين في لبنان’, Elaph – إيلاف, 14 June 2005,

[8] Elaph Publishing Limited.

[9] Alasdair Drysdale and Raymond A. Hinnebusch, Syria and the Middle East Peace Process (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1991).

[10] Association des Banques du Liban, ‘Almanac of Banks in Lebanon 2022’.

[11] Paul Cochrane, ‘Who Owns the Banks’, Executive Magazine (blog), 3 July 2010,

[12] Ministry of Justice, ‘Commercial Registry of Lebanon’.

[13] ‘GroupMed Announces OLT Holding s.a.l. as a New Shareholder – Lebanese Ministry of Information’, accessed 13 March 2023,

[14] ‘GroupMed Announces OLT Holding s.a.l. as a New Shareholder – Lebanese Ministry of Information’.

[15] M.R., ‘Hariri cède Oger International à Alaa al-Khawaja’, Commerce du Levant, 3 May 2018, sec. none,

[16] M.R.

[17] M.R.



All content provided in this report (the Report) is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or any other professional advice. The Alternative has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in the Report. However, due to the opacity of available sources of information, The Alternative has relied on the most up to date and self-reported figures from the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) and its member banks, when available. When ABL and banks data was not available, The Alternative relied on physical copies of Lebanon’s commercial registry, online databases and other credible sources. In addition, The Alternative contacted each of the bank’s communications departments for confirmation of data regarding the shareholding and management of said banks. Only Bank Audi and BLOM Bank provided relevant information, both of which have been included in their entirety. Amongst others, the sources of the Report include various commercial registries, official bank websites, online aggregators, databases dedicated to company registration, the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Bilanbanques reports, and many others.   

The information provided in the Report is done “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Alternative shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The Alternative does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in the Report. Furthermore, The Alternative shall not be liable for any losses or damages from the display or use of this information. If anyone has information relating to the Report, The Alternative welcomes it. All information sent to The Alternative will undergo a thorough validation process, and the report will be updated accordingly. For any relevant information or inquiries, please contact [email protected].


‘They’ Have Names: Who’s Behind Lebanon’s Banks & State

‘They’ Have Names

Cross Contamination: The Banking Interests Plaguing Public Office in Lebanon