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14.12.11
 
The Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Israel appoint a team to examine how to increase competitiveness in the banking industry
Joint Ministry of Finance and Bank of Israel Press Releas
 
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The Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, and the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Professor Stanley Fischer announce the formation of an inter-ministerial working team to examine how to increase competitiveness in the banking industry. The team will be headed by the Supervisor of Banks, Mr. David Zaken, and its members include representatives of the Bank of Israel, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, the National Economic Council, and the Israel Antitrust Authority. In accordance with the letter of appointment, the team will examine and recommend various ways of increasing the competitiveness in the banking industry in the household and small businesses sectors.
The appointment of the team follows the recommendations of the Committee for Socioeconomic Change (The Trajtenberg Committee) which examined the factors in major industries that affect the cost of living in Israel, including the banking industry.
The Trajtenberg Committee expressed concern that the concentration in the banking system was likely to have a negative impact on the level of competition and to result in prices higher than their competitive level being charged in various areas of activity. In addition to this, other banking-industry-related factors are likely to reduce the intensity of interbank competition, including the complexity of the banking product, the difficulty encountered by customers in gathering comparative information, and the incomplete information transferred between banks about the credit history of customers.
The team will examine steps to increase competitiveness in the banking industry and will make appropriate recommendations, and will give its views on various means for simplifying the banking product, strengthening customers' ability to negotiate with banks, and improving and broadening the service relating to credit information in the household and small business sectors. This, while maintaining the strength of Israel's banking system for the good of depositors and the whole economy.
The members of the team are: Mrs. Odeda Perez, Deputy Supervisor of Banks and Head of Bank–Customer Division, the Bank of Israel; Dr. Shlomi Parizat, Chief Economist, the Israel Antitrust Authority; Mr Eyal Epstein, Deputy Director of the Budget Department, Ministry of Finance; Mr Eran Heimer, Senior Deputy Accountant General, Ministry of Finance; Mr Ronny Neubauer, Advocate, Counseling and Legislation Department, Ministry of Justice; and Mr. Morris Dorfman, Senior Economist, the National Economic Council.
The team will submit its reccomendations to the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Israel within 120 days from its establishment.