Bank customer hapoalim370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s banks may fall victim to the European Union decision
restricting interaction with Israeli entities beyond the pre-1967 lines, according to information obtained by The Jerusalem Post's sister Hebrew-language publication, Sof Hashavua magazine.
At issue are the continued investments of European investment funds in
the banks’ securities.
A visiting delegation of Scandinavian
analysts to Israel held a special meeting with the management of the Association of the
Banks of Israel and requested the particulars of
the Israeli banks’ business in the West Bank and the extent of their
commercial involvement there.
The meeting was held a few weeks
ago according to a source, who said the visiting analysts represented
pension and investment funds from Scandinavian countries.
course of the meeting it became clear that all of the Israeli banks act
either directly beyond the Green Line by way of commercial branches, or
indirectly through the financing of building projects there.
to the source, the analysts subsequently reported these details to
their Scandinavian clients who it is believed then acted to reduce their
investments in the Israeli banks.
The Israeli banks, for their part, have not remained complacent in the face of the EU settlement directive.
legal departments of the Israeli banks requested that the Foreign
Ministry provide them with the details of the EU guidelines so they could
assess its consequences on them and weigh their future steps.
The EU was expected to formally publicize its new guidelines on settlements on Friday
which would prohibit the funding, cooperation, and the granting of
scholarships, grants and prizes to Israeli settlements beyond the Green
Line. The EU guidelines are expected to harm the business interests of many
bodies that are active in these areas.
In the wake of reports of
the EU decision, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Army Radio
this week that “investment funds could not be forced to invest” beyond
the Green Line. Elkin said investments would be impacted by the decision
but he added there were entities who already began to divest prior to
the EU settlement decision.
Translated by JPost.com staff.