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It was a bard third quarter for the banks: Israel Discount Bank has reverted to the red and Bank Leumi is firing all its temps.

Discount will be reporting losses of NIS 80 million for the third quarter, Ma'ariv reports, after netting NIS 31 million in the second quarter.

The bank's consolidated statement will be brought before its board of directors for approval on Tuesday.

Based on that estimate, Discount will be ending the nine months on a loss of NIS 186 million, compared with a loss of NIS 89 million for the parallel period of 2000.

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The loss shifts Discount's capital adequacy ratio to 9%, the absolute minimum laid down by the Bank of Israel. Discount will have no choice but to raise capital.

Yedioth Ahronoth meanwhile reports that Bank Leumi has decided to fire all the 400 temps it employs.

An internal document making the rounds of Leumi's branches details the timetable and procedure for dismissing people hired from manpower companies in two waves. The first wave of dismissals is timed for December 11, the second for month-end January 2002.

Some of the temps may be taken on as permanent staff, Yedioth adds.