April 12, 2018 / 7:08 AM / a year ago

Israel's Bank Hapoalim sells Swiss unit to Safra Sarasin

FILE PHOTO: A man enters the main branch of Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank, in Tel Aviv, Israel July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Bank Hapoalim (POLI.TA), Israel’s largest lender, has signed a deal to sell most of its private banking business in Switzerland and Luxembourg to the J. Safra Sarasin Group for 20-23 million Swiss francs ($21-24 million).

Hapoalim said on Thursday it expects the deal to be completed in 2018 pending regulatory approvals.

The bank last year decided to end its activities in Switzerland, which have been the focus of a U.S. investigation.

U.S. authorities are investigating whether Hapoalim helped American clients evade U.S. taxes at its Swiss unit. The bank has already set aside a provision of close to $350 million.

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen

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