Bank Leumi Chairman Eitan Raff and CEO Galia Maor today announced that they are waiving 5% of their 2002 wages.

The money is to be placed in a charity established by the bank to support educational projects in development towns and underprivileged neighborhoods.

In 2000, Maor's wages and bonuses came to NIS 2.6 million, while Raff's came to NIS 1.7 million.

Voluntary surrender of some percentage of salary is gaining ground among the top management of Israel's major banks.

Last week the heads of Bank Hapoalim announced that they will be cutting their salaries for 2002 by 7% and waiving 50% of their 2001 bonus.

The chairman of First International Bank of Israel, Shlomo Piotrkowsky, on Wednesday announced that he is waiving his wages for 2002. FIBI CEO David Granot announced he is waiving 5% of his wages for 2002, and the board decided to cut board members wages by 10%.

Raff and Maof conclude their announcement with an appeal to the entire business sector to this year redirect resources to assisting underprivileged populations in light of the stark economic outlook.