Founded: 1921
Total Assets*: US$15.06 billion
Customer Deposits*: US$12.34 billion
Ranking by Assets*: 6

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


First established as a Lebanese branch of Crédit Foncier D’Algérie et de Tunisie (CFAT) in 1921, Fransabank is the oldest registered bank in Lebanon. The bank changed name and ownership multiple times until Adnan and Adel Kassar bought a majority shareholding in 1980 and four years later changed the bank’s name to Fransabank SAL. That same year, Fransabank established a French subsidiary in partnership with Crédit Agricole (from which the latter exited from in 2007).[1]Between 1985 and 2014, Fransabank absorbed 6 banks, acquired BLC bank and its subsidiaries, and acquired 37.1% of BBAC.[2]

Of Fransabank’s seven board members, four are politically exposed persons (PEPs). Three are members of the Kassar family: Nadim, Adel, and Nabil Kassar. Nadim Kassar serves as the bank’s chairman and general manager. On the board of directors, Cedars II holding company and K One Holding SAL are represented by Adel and Nabil, respectively. The three Kassars are PEPs as they are related to Adnan Kassar, former minister of economy and trade (2004-5) and of state (2009-11).

The fourth PEP, Walid Daouk, is married to Adel Kassar’s daughter. In addition to having married into Kassar Family, Daouk is a former Information Minister (2011-14). He represents Cedars I on the board.

According to the Association of Banks in Lebanon’s 2022 Almanac, Fransabank’s largest shareholders were two Cayman Island-based companies, Cedars I and Cedars II.[3] Both companies hold a 39.81% stake. According to older Commercial Registry data, Adnan and Adel Kassar each had 39.81% shareholdings.[4]

Nehmé Tohmé holds 1.44% of Fransabank, likely dating back to 1993, when Fransabank acquired Banque Tohmé SAL.[5] Nehmé Tohmé served in cabinet as minister of the displaced (2005-08).


[1] ‘Historical Milestones’, accessed 13 March 2023,

[2] ‘Historical Milestones’.

[3] Association des Banques du Liban.

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

[5] Ministry of Justice.


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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