The Sale of Credit Card Companies to Financial Institutional Entities

A Brandeis Institute research project, conducted by Dr. Efrat Dressler, examined the concentration and cross-relationships between institutional entities and the main credit providers in the Israeli economy. The study identified a high degree of cross-relationships and pointed out various institutional entities, including the Phoenix Company and the Clal company, whose network of cross-holdings (through various funds) is extraordinary. The research played a crucial role in preventing the takeover of the Phoenix Company by Emirati funds.

Based on this research, the Brandeis Institute submitted a policy paper to the committee appointed by the Minister of the Treasury to examine the sale of the CAL credit card company by Discount Bank. The policy paper warned of the expected competitive problems in transferring control over the credit card companies from the banks to institutional entities, such as major insurance groups.