Bank Leumi In Organized Retreat

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

Bank Leumi is employing fewer people and making less profit, according to its 2014 financil report published on Tuesday night.

Leumi has laid off 1,000 employees over the past three years and plans to let go another 1,000 or so by 2017, Globes reported.

The bank isn’t losing money, though, just making less. Leumi closed out 2014 with a net profit of NIS 1.5 billion, down 24% from NIS 1.98 billion the previous year. In the fourth quarter, Leumi lost NIS 111 million, largely due to fines incurred to the U.S. authorities for tax evasion charges. Income from interest fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter to NIS 1.8 billion but rose 0.1% in 2014 overall to NIS 7.36 billion.

Minus the fine for assisting U.S. clients to avoid paying taxes, Bank Leumi’s net return on equity was 9.3% in 2014 and net profit would have been NIS 2.5 billion.

Said president and CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach: “The past year was a testing time for the Group, and I am happy to say we successfully overcame it. Despite the many and difficult challenges we encountered, our core indices reflect exceptional results.”

“The settlement we reached with U.S authorities allows us to open a new chapter, to look forward and concentrate our efforts on accelerating our business activity. Over the last two years, we have adapted ourselves to the many changes taking place in the world of private banking.

“Today, we are working in accordance with the new regulatory requirements, including strict implementation of a white-money policy, as practiced currently in banking in the Western world. Within this framework, we closed several overseas representative offices and branches, sold our Swiss banking operations and made organizational changes in our private banking activity.”