The race for the job of Supervisor of Banks is nearing the home stretch. Several weeks after the deadline for submitting candidacies to the selection committee for the position, a final list of candidates has been formed. The candidate selected will replace David Zaken, who will leave his position in two months.
Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) risk management division head Hedva Bar, who was added to the list in the past few days, possibly just ahead of the deadline, is emerging as the frontrunner. The candidates also include former Leumi Mortgage Bank CEO and former Canaf (Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd.'s (TASE: CLIS) investment management arm) CEO Shuki Burstein; former Discount Mortgage Bank CEO Eti Langerman; Israel Antitrust Authority deputy chief economist Dana Heller; former Bank of Israel chief economist Asher Blass; and Bank of Israel Assistant Supervisor of Banks Tsuriel Tamam.
If Bar is selected, defining the character, extent, and duration of her cooling off period is liable to create a complicated problem. It involves not only the definite cooling off period concerning her dealings with Bank Leumi, where she worked for years (it is also unclear whether this cooling off period will last one or two years). Complete or partial cooling off restrictions may also be necessary for two other banks: Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank (TASE:MZTF), which are currently under investigation by the US authorities, similar to the probe of Bank Leumi over the past four years into suspicions of criminally abetting customers in concealing income and tax evasion in the US. An indictment was filed against Bank Leumi for those violations, and a settlement was reached in which the bank paid a huge $400 million fine.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 14, 2015
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