The chair of Israel Discount Bank, Arie Mientkavich, said this week that the Bank of Israel rejected its request to merge with a privately owned mid-sized bank. Haaretz has now learned that the subject of this merger request was Union Bank of Israel (Bank Igud), controlled by Shlomo Eliahu, Yeshayahu Landau and David Lubinski.
The central bank explained that it rejected the merger proposal because of concerns that the State of Israel, which owns 57.1 percent of Discount, would be forced to absorb the losses of the privately held bank. In addition, the merger would, in effect, nationalize Union Bank, while the government is seeking to move in the opposite direction by privatizing the banks.
In the past, the central bank also rejected Union Bank's bid to merge with Bank Leumi.
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