The Knesset plenum .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The cabinet on Sunday approved the creation of a Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings Authority to be headed by the Finance Ministry.
The plan essentially makes the Finance Ministry’s division of Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings an independent body, with its own budget and decision-making ability on how to utilize its resources.
The finance minister, with the approval of the government, will appoint a commissioner to head the authority for five-year terms.
The authority will be responsible for upholding consumer interests for regulated industries such as insurance, promoting competition in the capital markets, and maintaining stability in the markets.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon called the move, which is in line with Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and International Monetary Fund recommendations, the beginning of “a new era of real competition.”
The Bank of Israel also approved of the move, although there was concern that Kahlon would try to use the new authority to wrest away the Bank of Israel’s supervisory role over credit card companies, a major bone of contention between the Bank of Israel and the Finance Ministry.
Kahlon also announced plans to lower fund management fees on Sunday, by which employees would get more options of companies to manage their employer- related financial assets.
“You cannot have a situation in which low-income workers who earn less pay a lot more in management fees than strong, unionized employees,” Kahlon said.