8% of accounts still need arranging [pg.15]

The eight percent of bank account holders still in need of credit frameworks are poised to find themselves in overdraft difficulties, when the new directive comes into effect in less than two weeks, according to the May data published by the Bank of Israel Sunday. "The high rate of exceeding credit limits indicates that banking customers and the banks are not organized for the correct management of current accounts," said Yoav Lehman, Supervisor of Banks. Lehman warned that banking customers who do not organize their accounts will find themselves in trouble in come July 1. By the end of May, credit limits had been set for 92% of accounts with overdraft provisions at the country's five largest banks compared with 87% at the end of April. The Bank of Israel has. for the month of May, for the first time published specific data on each bank's preparedness in arranging credit frameworks. The data showed that Bank Mizrahi had the highest rate of arranged credit frameworks, however the rate of banking customers exceeding their credit frameworks was still high. The lowest rate of arranged credit frameworks was found at Israel Discount Bank. At the same time, Israel Discount Bank has come out as the bank with the lowest rate of customers exceeding their credit framework. Meanwhile, the banks, which from July 1 won't be able to charge excess overdraft interest rates, have over the past months raised their interest rates on regular overdrafts to cover their lost income from exorbitant rates charged for exceeding limits. Bank Hapoalim has recently increased its interest for the highest level of risk from 3.9% to 7%, which comes near to the rate it currently charges for exceeding overdraft frameworks.