Hapoalim Dispute Close to Conclusion

The dispute between Bank Hapoalim and the Bank of Israel is expected to end within a few days after Hapoalim's controlling shareholder, Shari Arison, agreed to almost all the central bank's demands. Chairman Danny Dankner is expected to resign soon - no later than Tuesday, the day the bank will release its first quarter financial report.

Another senior Arison official is also leaving: Iris Dror, the Chief Language and Communication Officer of the Arison Group, is leaving after eight years with Arison in various positions. She was also appointed to the Bank Hapoalim board a year ago, and her appointment generated considerable criticism over her lack of experience in banking, as well as the fact that she does not even hold a B.A. degree.

Although Dankner has yet to announce his resignation officially, Arison has already started to talk to candidates - in cooperation with the Bank of Israel. The leading candidate at the moment is Joseph Bachar, the former director general of the Finance Ministry and head of the committee that designed the eponymous financial market reforms that separated the banks from their provident and mutual funds.

Other names mentioned for the chairmanship are Dan Gillerman, former ambassador to the U.N., and Yoram Turbowicz, former prime minister Ehud Olmert's chief of staff.