Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber has requested from the Governor of the Bank of Israel to step down from her position on April 15, 2020, following a term of office of close to five years.
Among Dr. Ber's achievements during her term as Supervisor of Banks was implementation of the Strum Committee's recommendation to separate the credit card companies from the banks. In addition, during her term, regulatory requirements were relaxed enabling the licensing of one new bank and two new clearers.
At age 25, after finishing studies in economics and political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ber joined the Bank of Israel Research Department as a doctoral student in economics. "Already at that stage I fell in love with finance and banking regulation, and formed a dream of becoming the supervisor of banks," she told "Lady Globes".
After completing her doctorate at the Hebrew University, she worked in the Bank of Israel Research Department, at the invitation of Prof. Leo Leiderman, at the time head of the department, and took charge of the field of capital and money markets. After a few years, she became Israel's representative on the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and moved to London for three years. On her return to Israel, she joined Bank Leumi a deputy head of the capital markets division. Two years later, she was given the task of setting up the bank's risk management division, and became a member of senior management.
Dr. Ber was appointed Supervisor of Banks in 2015, and set out a series of goals for the Banking Supervision Department's work. These included continuing to maintain the stability of the banking system; proactive promotion of competition in banking areas, including through structural changes and the removal of barriers; maintaining the banking system's fairness toward its customers; promoting efficiency in the banking system; and encouraging innovation and the adoption of new technologies by the banking system.
"I thank the Governor, Prof. Amir Yaron, and former governor Prof. Karnit Flug, for the huge honor they gave me to lead the supervision of the banking system in recent years, and for the full partnership and backing they gave me throughout that time in leading the steps that we have led," Dr. Ber said. "I would also like to thank the staff and managers of the Banking Supervision Department and of the Bank of Israel, and my colleagues in the Bank's management for the tireless and professional work they are doing with a sense of mission. I complete my term with a sense of satisfaction in view of the fact that we have advanced many infrastructural changes, the benefits of which can already be felt by households and businesses, and some of which will come to fruition and be felt gradually over the coming years.
"At the same time, we have strengthened the ability of Banking Supervision Department and of the banks themselves to manage the new developing risks, chiefly cyber and technology risks. In recent years, the banking system has undergone large changes that benefit customers, while maintaining stability and supporting economic growth."
Governor of the Bank of Israel Amir Yaron said, "On behalf of the Bank of Israel and of myself, I thank Dr. Hedva Ber for her service as Supervisor of Banks. Hedva worked during a key period for the banking system, while maintaining its stability and promoting competition and innovation in it. Hedva knew how to skillfully and professionally balance the needs of all participants in the system, and to serve the public interest in the best way possible. I wish her success, and I am convinced that she will continue to serve the Israeli economy in the future."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 1, 2019
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