Bank of Israel: Press reports of Tal resignation groundless

Sources notw that, in addition to the Trade Bank scandal, Tal has been worn down by conflicts with the retail banks <br> * Ma'ariv: Banks supervisor considers resignation
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The reports today that the supervisor of Banks Yitzhak Tal is about to step down after four years in office are completely groundless, Bank of Israel said today of a news item in Hebrew language daily Ma'ariv. The item notes that the usual term of office for senior Bank of Israel executives is five years.

The central bank stated in response that there is no defined tenure period for its senior office holders so "early resignation" is not even a possibility.

Capital market sources cite the criticism directed at Tal regarding the supervision of banks division's failure to reveal the massive fraud that led to the collapse of Trade Bank as possibly leading to his decision to step down. The sources also mention the heavy workload and burnout that have increased in the past year, regardless of the Trade Bank scandal, due to conflicts with the commercial banks concerning Tal's instructions that retail banks exercise caution in their policy regarding doubtful debt provisions. The sources therefore note that it is difficult to predict what Tal will do in the coming weeks and months.

Ma'ariv reported that the leading candidate to replace Tal is Yoav Lehman, today Tal's deputy and formerly a senior advisor to Bank of Israel governor David Klein. The broadsheet also says Tal will likely remain in Bank of Israel during his two year cooling off period before entering the private sector.