What Good Do Huge Wages Do for the Banks, Watchdog Asks

Securities Authority is apparently especially interested in details about bonuses at Hapoalim and Discount

Ram Dagan
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Ram Dagan

The Israel Securities Authority is demanding that Israel's big banks deliver clarifications about executive pay by Monday. Specifically, the watchdog wants to know just what good the perks do for the banks.

ISA chairman Moshe Terry on Thursday sent letters to the banks, demanding more details about the justification for top-brass incentivization programs, from the perspective of the company's benefit.

Once the answers have been delivered, the ISA will decide whether to demand further disclosures.

Bank Hapoalim commented that it has not yet received Terry's letter.

Bank Discount confirmed that it did receive the letter and was studying it.

The high salaries at Bank Hapoalim, revealed in the 2005 financial statement, and the new employment agreement contemplated at Bank Discount, aroused a public outcry. On Tuesday the Bank Discount general assembly of shareholders will be meeting to discuss the issue. The vote is scheduled for 16:00, so if the watchdog means to do anything, it has to move fast.

In respect to Bank Hapoalim, the ISA is apparently interested mainly in the bonus for CEO Zvi Ziv, and bonuses regarding the sale of the New York bank, Signature, which changed hands in late 2004. At Bank Discount the watchdog may be eager for details on the stock options and bonuses plan for the top 12 managers, including CEO Giora Offer and chairman Shlomo Zohar.

Zvi Ziv: Public outrage at his remuneration



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