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Bank Hapoalim to boost salaries, lay off 900 staff

Bank Hapoalim BM said it will boost employees' wages and that its board approved a new efficiency plan aimed at slashing more than 900 jobs through early retirement until 2022, Reuters reported, citing a regulatory filing.

The Israeli lender will increase salaries by an average of 3.7% for a period that will cover 2018 to 2022 and will make a one-off grant to employees of 210 million shekels as part of an agreement that ends a labor dispute called by the Histadrut trade union in December 2019, according to the report.

Hapoalim said it will book a pretax charge of 210 million shekels in its results for the fourth quarter of 2019 due to the one-off grant, while salary expenses will add pretax costs of 60 million shekels annually between 2020 and 2022. The retirement plan, meanwhile, will result in additional actuarial liabilities of 352 million shekels, which will also be booked in its fourth-quarter results.

As of Jan. 8, US$1 was equivalent to 3.47 Israeli shekels.