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Supervisor of Banks Yoav Lehman over the weekend indicated his disapproval of new charges Bank Leumi was planning to introduce on January 1.
Lehman sent a letter to Bank Leumi expressing concerns about the collection of a NIS 75 fine on every banking customer who exceeds its credit limit for more than seven working days and a NIS 49 fee per customer when setting up the new credit frameworks required by the new Bank of Israel credit regulations.
The new credit directive stipulates that banks must set a fixed credit facility that clients may only exceed under very special conditions.
"We are still in a dialogue with the Supervisor of Banks and no conclusions have been reached yet," Yoav Poles, Bank Leumi spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post.
One possible outcome would be for Leumi to postpone introduction of the credit limit fee to July 1 - when the rules are now set to go into effect, after being granted a six-month transition period from January 1.
The Bank of Israel declined to comment.
Separately, Bank Leumi announced a stock options plan worth NIS 464 million for its employees ahead of the bank's privatization. The bank will distribute 84.8 million options, exercisable into the same number of shares at NIS 13.46 each. If exercised in full, the workers would own 6 percent of the bank's stock. Bank Leumi's share price stood at over NIS 17 on Sunday.
"The options might or might not make Leumi workers rich depending on the fluctuations of the share price. The options serve as a symbolic tool to act as an incentive to take part in the success of the bank," Poles said.
The options would be offered to Bank Leumi's 7,500 permanent workers and distributed proportionately to the workers' salaries.
The options plan has been approved by Leumi's Leumi board of directors and the audit committee, but has yet to be okayed by shareholders.
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