Law Would Require Bank of Israel to Vet Policies With Knesset

The Bank of Israel building in Yerushalayim. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun, File)

A new law, if approved, would require the Bank of Israel to receive approval from the Knesset Economics Committee before releasing reports that contain policy changes or proclamations. The Committee will be asked to review the document and give its opinion on whether or not it thinks the changes are a good idea. The law does not require the Bank to accept the opinion of MKs.

Eleven MKs are sponsoring the legislation, among them Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), who is a former CEO of Mizrachi-Tefahot Bank, and Eitan Cabel, chairman of the Economics Committee. According to sponsors, “regulators responsible for the financial system are eligible to provide guidance and instruction that affect the public, especially if these decisions are not transparent and are not made by elected officials. This applies to the Bank of Israel, whose decisions are not supervised, and which does not have to bring its decisions to the Knesset or government for approval, event though these decisions profoundly affect all Israelis.”

According to the bill, the Economics Committee will hold public discussions on these decisions. “Anyone will be able to participate in these discussions, and those who feel they will be harmed by them will have an opportunity to speak out. Hopefully the discussion will lead to improved decisions.”

The Bank of Israel has not yet commented on the law. The law will be presented to the Ministerial Law Committee in the coming weeks, sponsors said.

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