Israel's Bank Hapoalim reaches new wage deal, to cut 900 jobs by 2022

JERUSALEM, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s two largest lenders, said on Wednesday it had reached a long-awaited agreement to raise workers’ salaries and plans to reduce its workforce by more than 900 jobs through an early retirement plan.

The deal to raise wages by an average 3.7% with its workers will cover 2018 to 2022, while employees will also receive a one-time grant of 210 million shekels ($60.6 million), the bank said in a regulatory filing in Tel Aviv.

It noted that the agreement cancels a labour dispute called by the Histadrut labour federation last month.

Hapoalim, it said, will record a pre-tax charge of 210 million shekels in its fourth-quarter results and salary expenses will add an additional 60 million shekels a year before taxes between 2020 and 2022.

The bank also said its board approved a new efficiency plan that will cut more than 900 jobs through early retirement until 2022.

This will boost its actuarial liabilities by 352 million shekels in its fourth quarter results, it said. ($1 = 3.4637 shekels) (Reporting by Steven Scheer Editing by Tova Cohen)