A rather revolutionary section for competition in the financial system was added to the Regulations Law, which was a proposal to prohibit insurance companies from providing payment services and purchasing credit card companies. The reason: fear of creating regulatory arbitrage.
Regulatory arbitrage means the duplication of supervision from the supervisor of insurance in the Treasury and the supervisor of banks. Yet in the law it's proposed to allow this practice for an insurance company (the parent company) through a subsidiary. The corporation will be supervised in this case by the Israel Securities Authority.
As a result, permission was granted to Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd under the management of Yoram Neve to acquire control of Max.
Retiring Finance Ministry director-general Ram Belinkov has held up until now the possibility of this happening, yet after his retirement and in accordance with the recommendation formed by an internal team at the Treasury, Clal will be permitted to complete the deal.
There's also no opposition in principle to the transaction from the bank supervision side. In explanatory notes for the Regulations Law, it says, "The credit card companies that were separated from the banks will be supervised by the Securities Authority. Yet at the same time and in view of the need for stability, they'll also be supervised by the Bank of Israel despite the significant regulatory arbitrage that may arise, which can lead to an emphasis on stability and not competition."
In any case, from a regulatory point of view, now there are no obstacles to completing the Clal Insurance-Max deal.