TEL AVIV, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Israel Discount Bank, the country's third-largest lender, reported a smaller-than-expected 15 percent drop in profit in the third quarter as credit loss charges fell sharply and expenses narrowed.
The bank said on Thursday it earned 234 million shekels ($61 million) in the quarter, down from 276 million in the year-earlier period but above an average forecast in a Reuters poll of 201 million.
Excluding a special provision for an early retirement scheme, the bank earned 254 million shekels.
In August Discount said it would eliminate over 1,000 jobs in the coming years out of a total of 9,800, mostly via early retirement. The bank said it is in the process of offering early retirement to 250 workers.
Net interest income fell 3 percent to 1.06 billion shekels, while operating expenses slipped 0.7 percent. Credit loss charges fell to 40 million shekels in the quarter from 171 million a year ago.
Its core Tier 1 ratio, which measures equity capital as a proportion of risk-weighted assets, rose to 9.3 percent from 8.9 percent at the start of the year. (1 US dollar = 3.8441 Israeli shekel) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)