Benjamin Lawsky, head of the state’s Department of Financial Services, is seeking more than what the bank set aside to resolve a separate criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. In June, Leumi said it allotted 950 million shekels ($254 million) for the federal matter, which would make it the first Israeli bank to settle a tax probe with the U.S.
Lawsky has taken a similarly aggressive approach with other banks. As part of a guilty plea in May by Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN)’s main bank subsidiary, his office secured $715 million of the $2.6 billion penalty.
Bank Leumi, Israel’s second largest lender by assets, said today it’s in talks with Lawsky’s department on a settlement, according to a filing with the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. It’s too early to estimate if an accord may be reached and a final settlement may be “significantly higher” than the provisions it’s already set aside to cover those costs, the bank said.
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