Skip To Content
Breaking News

Will Pay Limits for Israeli Bankers Spark Mass Exodus?

Israel’s parliament has effectively capped salaries for bankers at $655,000, raising fears that the best minds in the money business will flee the sector for industries with no such limits.

The new Knesset law was designed to soothe public anger over income inequality but has sparked fears of a mass exodus at a time when jittery world financial markets call for experienced hands, Bloomberg reports.

“I hope the law won’t prompt the early retirement of key people at the banks all at once,” Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug said at a news conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, the news agency reported. “It’s preferable that such processes be gradual.”

The law, passed March 28, practically limits bankers’ individual salaries to 2.5 million shekels. That’s a healthy 20 times the average Israeli wage, but is less than a third of what CEO’s at the two biggest banks raked in last year.

It may already be having an impact. The head of Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, last week said he will quit to seek new business challenges.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.