The Antitrust Authority officially disqualified the merger beteween Mizrahi and Union banks


by Ifi Reporter Category:Banking May 22, 2018

The Antitrust Authority officially disqualified the merger between Union Bank and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank. Acting General Director of the Israel Antitrust Authority, Uri Schwartz, announced his opposition to the merger between Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot and Union Bank. The Authority explained that the move would have harmed competition on private customers in the banking system, a competition that is also limited in the situation before the merger
The IAA's examination found that the incentives offered by Union Bank and its competitive activities differed from those of the other five banking groups, "said the Authority's official announcement, which notes that the costs of the transfer between banks and private customers are very high, The average annual transfer rate of active customers does not exceed 2% The banks are aware of the power they possess and therefore, in view of the high transition costs, they use their ability to discriminate between their various customers and charge them the maximum prices Shah The few customers who are willing to invest in trying to improve their terms, by bargaining or by threatening to move to another bank, are able to achieve better terms from their bank than other customers. Opposite them conservation measures.
 The controlling shareholders of Union Bank are expected to appeal the decision to the Antitrust Tribunal. Last November, an agreement was signed between Mizrahi Tefahot and the controlling interest in Union. As part of the said transaction, Mizrahi Bank was to acquire the shares of the controlling shareholders of the company at a value of NIS 1.5 - 1.4 billion.
Union Bank is only the sixth largest bank in Israel and its market share is less than 3%. There is opposition in the political arena to the merger because, according to various sources, such a move will reduce the number of players in the market and harm competition that is not impressive. The Bank of Israel believes that the merger will strengthen Mizrahi Tefahot and intensify competition with the two major banks. This is because Union Bank does not really contribute to the competition.



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