Banque Libano-Francaise

Founded: 1967
Total Assets*: US$11.64 billion
Customer Deposits*: US$9.96 billion
Ranking by Assets*: 8

(*as of Dec 31, 2021, ABL Almanac 2022, converted at LL1507.5/US$)


Banque Libano-Francaise (BLF) was established in 1930 as a branch of the French bank Compagnie Algerienne. In 1967, BLF was established under Lebanese law as a joint stock company.[1]

Gil Holding, which owns a 6% stake in BLF, is owned by Gilbert Chaghoury, a Nigerian billionaire of Lebanese descent. He has served as an ambassador and advisor to governments in Africa and the Americas, notably the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha from 1993 to 1998.[2] Chaghoury also had joint business ventures with Abacha.[3] [4]

Chaghoury is “known to have funded Aoun”, and Christian and political alliances in Lebanon, as one government minister told then-US ambassador Jeffrey D. Feltman in 2007.[5]

Chaghoury’s wife, Rose Mary Chamchoum owns a further 2.24% of BLF via Libano Holding SAL.[6]

The Raphael family are the descendants of Farid Raphael, former Minister of Finance, Justice, and Telecommunications between 1976-79, however, his years in office fall outside the scope of the Alternative’s PEP classifications.


[1] Banque Libano-Francaise, ‘Banque Libano-Francaise’, accessed 17 March 2023,

[2] The New York Times, ‘Late Nigerian Dictator Looted Nearly 500 Million Swiss Say’, August 19th 2004,

[3] Frontline World, ‘Chasing the Ghosts of a Corrupt Regime: Gilbert Chaghoury, Clinton donor and diplomat with a checkered past’, January 8th 2010,

[4] Home Index Search Archives Washington Post, ‘Corruption Flourised in Abacha’s Regime, by James Rupert on June 9th 1998,

[5] Wikileaks, ‘Lebanon: Siniora Advocates Presidential Candidate Based on Principles’, accessed 17 March 2023,

[6] Association des Banques du Liban, ‘Almanac of Banks in Lebanon 2022’ (Beirut: Association des Banques du Liban, 2022).


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].


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