Israeli Bank Employee Subjected To Sexual Harassment By The Senior Official In Almaty Hotel

Israeli Bank Employee Was Harassed By The Senior Official At A Hotel In Almaty

Nov 2 Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest lender, was reprimanded by the country’s banking regulator on Wednesday for failing to notify it about a sexual harassment complaint against a senior executive filed by an employee.

The allegation was examined earlier this year by the former head of Israel’s Labour Court Steve Adler who ruled there was insufficient evidence to support a claim of sexual harassment or abuse against the executive.

However, the central bank had decided to review Hapoalim’s conduct.

“The Supervisor of Banks views gravely the fact that Bank Hapoalim did not notify the supervisor of this employee’s alleged sexual harassment complaint against a bank executive,” the Bank of Israel said in a statement.

Israeli banks are required to disclose such matters to the regulator as they could disrupt the running of the bank.

The employee, who has since left the bank, claimed she was harassed by the senior official at a hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in December 2006.

Hapoalim said in a statement that the employee received a larger than usual severance package on the recommendation of Adler, who found that she had been promised a contract with improved terms in 2007 and did not receive them. The bank did not disclose the amount she received.

“There is no connection between the severance pay and the examination (of conduct) which was found to be completely proper,” Hapoalim said in a statement.

Hapoalim shares were down 1.4 percent to 21.6 shekels ($5.67) in late afternoon trade, compared with a 0.6 percent drop in the Tel Aviv banking index. ($1 = 3.8131 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; additional reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Keith Weir)

In October, 2006 the largest Israeli bank Hapoalim through the acquisition of Turkish Demir bank received a control over a bank Demir-Kazakhstan. Hapoalim started to credit the equipment export from Israel to Kazakhstan in July, 2007.