August 8, 2018 / 6:25 AM / 4 months ago

Israel's Mizrahi Bank rejects $342 mln U.S. tax settlement offer

TEL AVIV, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank, Israel’s third-largest bank, said on Wednesday it would not accept a proposal from the U.S. Department of Justice to pay a fine of $342 million to settle a U.S. tax evasion investigation.

The bank said it believed that any “reasonable calculation” based on the behaviour of its employees as described by the Justice Department would result in a much smaller fine.

It said a letter from the Justice Department did not include any details or calculations on which it based its offer.

Mizrahi said it was examining the implications of this proposal and its impact on second-quarter earnings.

Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank, has set aside $365 million to cover a possible future settlement in a similar investigation into suspected tax evasion by the bank’s U.S. clients.

Bank Leumi underwent a similar investigation and paid $400 million in fines in late 2014. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; editing by Jason Neely)

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