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Bank Hapoalim to provision another $70 mln for U.S. tax probe

TEL AVIV Oct 6 Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest bank, said on Thursday it would provision another $70 million in the third quarter regarding a U.S. investigation into tax evasion by the bank's U.S. clients.

This could have "a significant impact" on the bank's third quarter results, it said in a statement.

The $70 million would be in addition to the $50 million Hapoalim has already set aside for this matter, in which U.S. authorities are probing whether it helped American clients evade U.S. taxes at its Swiss unit.

The provision follows a meeting Hapoalim representatives had with member of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sept. 30 regarding a settlement between the two sides.

Hapoalim, which has denied the allegations, has handed over most of the information that was requested by the DOJ and New York State officials.

Its main domestic rival Leumi paid $400 million in fines in late 2014 to settle two separate investigations into whether it helped U.S. clients evade taxes. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Additional reporting by Steven Scheer)

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