Zvi Ziv: Hapoalim has nothing to hide

In a letter to employees, Bank Hapoalims CEO said its money laundering controls were of a high standard.

Bank Hapoalim (LSE: BKHD; TASE: POLI) CEO Zvi Ziv yesterday sent his second letter to the banks employees since the removal of a gag order on the investigation into money laundering at the banks Hayarkon branch in Tel Aviv. In the letter, Ziv informed employees that the investigation was continuing, including the questioning of those whom he called a number of our friends. He again stressed that the bank was cooperating with the police.

The bank has nothing to hide. Its interest lies in a rapid completion of the investigation Bank Hapoalim is known for its strict compliance with all laws, including the Prohibition on Money Laundering Law (5760-2000). The Israel Money Laundering Prohibition Authority and supervision agencies have confirmed the banks high standards in this matter, Ziv wrote.

Ziv revealed that on Monday, he had visited the international private banking unit in Bank Hapoalims Hayarkon branch. The visit gave me a great feeling of satisfaction and pride. The employees professional conduct deserves respect. They have not allowed the events in recent days to prevent them from doing their jobs in the best way possible, Zivs letter added.

Yesterday, United Mizrahi Bank (TASE: MZRH) announced that it had frozen funds at its branch on Ben Yehuda St. in Tel Aviv. The funds are related to the Bank Hapoalim investigation. Bank Mizrahi said that it was not suspected of anything, and was merely trying to assist the investigation of Bank Hapoalim customers.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on March 10, 2005

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