Bank of Israel veteran selected as new banking supervisor

Daniel Hahiashvili will replace Yari Avidan on June 22; sees his role as ensuring stability of banks while boosting competition and technological innovation

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Daniel Hahiashvili (Courtesy)
Daniel Hahiashvili (Courtesy)

The Bank of Israel on Monday announced the appointment of central bank veteran Daniel Hahiashvili as its new supervisor of banks.

Hahiashvili will replace Yair Avidan and take up his new post on June 22. The appointment comes after Avidan, a banking industry veteran, announced his resignation in February after serving three years as the banking supervisor.

Bank of Israel governor Amir Yaron appointed Hahiashvili after a search committee led by deputy governor Andrew Abir assessed the applications of 13 candidates.

Hahiashvili began working at the central bank more than 20 years ago as an economist and has served in a variety of positions within the banking supervision department, and as chief of staff to former governor Karnit Flug.

In his last post, the father of four headed the technology and innovation division at the banking supervision department, and helmed projects to boost competition and innovation in the financial system, including implementing the open banking reform. Hahiashvili also advanced the use of payment applications in the banking system, alongside cybersecurity protection requirements for the industry.

In statement released by the Bank of Israel, Yaron congratulated Hahiashvili on the appointment to the “important and challenging” position of banking supervisor during a period of a higher interest rate and inflation, which also impacts the banking system and its customers.

Israel’s lenders, including Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi, have posted record net profits over the past year as fast interest rate hikes and rising inflation boosted financing income and helped credit and loan operations flourish, while repayment costs for mortgage and loan holders have ballooned.

Yaron underlined the importance of “close supervision of the banking system, both in terms of ensuring the stability of the banking system and preserving the public’s savings and deposits while optimally utilizing customers’ money, and in terms of continuing actions to increase competition and promote innovation in the banking system.”

Hahiashvili said in his new role he will ensure continued development and stability of the banking system, while supporting its technological and digital development and promoting competition within the industry for the benefit of the public.

“This is a particularly challenging period in which the [banking] system must continue to adapt its various products to the interest rate and inflation environment, while seeing the customer’s best interest at the center, and continuing to advance technological changes in banking in particular and the financial system in general,” said Hahiashvili.

The incoming banking supervisor holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Law, and a master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both cum laude.

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