Chairs and CEOs of Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Mizrahi Tefahot, Discount and the First International Bank of Israel issued a joint statement last week supporting the call for dialogue on the judicial reform initiatives that the new government has proposed – a call that was issued by President Isaac Herzog.
They stated that they support Herzog's initiative and that changes in the justice system should only be through dialogue and broad agreements in order to preserve the unity of the citizens and ensure the preservation of a Jewish and democratic Israel and the country's economic prosperity.
Those who issued this joint statement were: Hanan Friedman, CEO, and Samer Haj-Yehia, chair, Bank Leumi; Dov Kotler, CEO, and Ruben Krupik, chair, Bank Hapoalim; Uri Levin, CEO, and Shaul Kobrinsky, chair, Discount; Moshe Lari, CEO, and Moshe Vidman, chair, Mizrahi Tefahot; and Smadar Barber-Tsadik, CEO, and Ron Levkovich, chair, First International Bank of Israel.
Why are the banks afraid?
This is the first time a joint initiative has come from the five major banks including Leumi, which until now avoided cooperating with competing banks.
The bankers fear a wave of withdrawals and the negative effect a unilateral activation of the judicial reforms will have on the economy and on Israel's international standing.