Israel: Gemachim Now Viewed as Financial Institutions


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After two and a half years of complicated discussions, the Finance Committee, headed by committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni, approved the second and third reading of the Gemachim Law, which paved the way for the approval of the CRS regulations later in the week Prohibition of Money Laundering Law.

The nation’s gemachim began coming under increased state scrutiny as the international community became more concerned with money laundering.

The Knesset Finance Commitee chairman, MK Moshe Gafni, who promoted the law throughout its enactment, said: “I thank Rabbi Litzman for the backing he gave me regarding this law, we are both very much debating this question, and ultimately we decided to pass the law. We acted in full coordination with the gemachim and I think that this is a law that can be lived with and it is a good law”.

CEO of A Gemach for Every Home: “Historical interest, the committee gave both the government and the gemachim the way to go together paragraph by paragraph, section by section. We were surprised by the consensus of the coalition and the opposition, which became the symbol to continue.”

The proposed law to regulate the provision of deposit and credit services without interest by gemachim is intended to regulate, for the first time, the activity of the gemachim as a financial institution for the provision of deposit and interest-free credit services, which receives a license from the State and is subject to supervision. The legislation was coordinated with the Deputy Minister of Health, Yaakov Litzman, who took part in the regulatory efforts.

The bill is expected to appear on the Knesset docket on Tuesday.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)