Hapoalim Officials to Face Questioning in Dankner Affair

Several top Bank Hapoalim officials and businessmen will be questioned by the police's national fraud investigative unit in connection with the suspicions involving former bank chairman Danny Dankner.

The police revealed last Wednesday that Dankner is under criminal investigation on suspicions that include fraud, breach of trust and violating banking laws. He spent three days under house arrest while being questioned.

Hapoalim's controlling shareholder, Shari Arison, will be questioned as well. The CEO under Dankner, Zvi Ziv, has already been questioned.

After investigators speak with more bank officials, Dankner will be questioned again.

It seems the story about Dankner was news to several top economic officials as well.

"I didn't know about the police investigation into Bank Hapoalim or about the suspicions against former board chairman Danny Dankner," Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said last night on the Channel 2 program "Meet the Press." "The issues that came to light were not on the docker a year ago, during the issue with Dankner," he added, referring to when the Bank of Israel insisted that Dankner step down.

Steinitz hinted that Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer had not been aware of the investigation, either. The current leadership of Israel's various banks is excellent, the finance minister added.

While police have not specified the precise allegations against Dankner, one involves the Turkish bank affair that TheMarker revealed last May, which involved a conflict of interest for Dankner.

Sources believe Dankner approved loans for associates and for himself that were not in keeping with regulations.