Uri Levin to leave Discount Bank

Uri Levin Credit: PR
Uri Levin Credit: PR

Levin will become CEO of real estate company Tidhar. The legal  restrictions on bank CEO pay are thought to have contributed to his move.

Almost four years after being appointed CEO of Israel Discount Bank, Uri Levin is leaving. Levin notified the bank’s board of directors of his decision this morning. He is to become CEO of privately held real estate group Tidhar. Discount Bank said that Levin would continue in his role until after a replacement was chosen and a handover period.

It is believed that one of the reasons for Levin’s decision is the legal restriction on pay to which he is subject as CEO of a bank. The law sets a ceiling of NIS 2.5 million annually, or NIS 3.5 million together with bonuses, beyond which a CEO’s pay is not recognized for tax purposes. In his new job, Levin will not be subject to such restrictions.

It is believed that, at Tidhar, Levin will receive substantial stock-based compensation potentially amounting to a 3% stake in the company. Tidhar is likely to become publicly traded within the next few years.

Levin was appointed CEO of Israel Discount Bank in July 2019 after filling a number of senior managerial roles in the banking group. In 2022, the bank posted a net profit of NIS 3.5 billion, double the profit in 2019. In recent months, together with other bank CEOs, he has warned of the effects of the government’s judicial overhaul on the Israeli economy, and voiced his concerns at a meeting of business leaders with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Between 2019 and 2022, Discount Bank’s credit portfolio grew 33%, while its quality, which had been considered problematic, improved. The bank’s mortgage portfolio grew 76% in that period, partly thanks to general market growth, but also as a result of the bank’s competitive terms. In recent months, as the Bank of Israel’s interest rate rose, Discount Bank made some market leading moves, such as cancelling interest on overdrafts up to NIS 2,000, and sharply raising the interest rate paid on deposits.

"The past professional decade of my life has been entirely devoted to the wonderful journey that the Discount group has undergone to become a powerful independent body that challenges that financial system in Israel," Levin said. "We have built growth engines, we streamlined the group, and we presented unprecedented results in comparison with where we were just a decade ago."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 16, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Uri Levin Credit: PR
Uri Levin Credit: PR
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