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The Supervisor of Banks at the Bank of Israel, Yoav Lehman, on Wednesday issued a recommendation to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to impose price regulation on certain bank fees.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is the body responsible for regulating prices, in coordination with the Finance Ministry.

The central bank move is a reversal in trend: if anything the Israeli authorities have been scaling back supervision over pricing, increasingly leaving matters up to the free market. Generally, items that remain regulated include products sold by monopolies such as cement, or staples such as standard bread.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade commented today that it will discuss the matter as soon as possible at the inter-ministerial pricing supervision council, a body common to it and to the Finance Ministry. It will be inviting Lehman to attend the discussion.

Zvia Dori, the ministry official responsible for price regulation, said that if the committee decides supervision over certain bank fees is warranted, then the recommendation will be brought before the finance minister, who will make the final decision.