Israel has a prosperous economy, supported by a stable and modern banking system. What are the main banks in Israel and what do visitors need to know about banking in Israel?
Read more about the Israeli Currency exchange rates, bank notes and coins, using credit cards in Israel and Israeli Automated Teller Machines here.
The Bank of Israel supervises all the banks in the country. Its headquarters are in Jerusalem near the Knesset, and it has one main branch in Tel Aviv in the heart of the city's financial center.
Israelis sometimes complain about the overly conservative policies of the Bank of Israel.
Yet thanks to its risk-averse approach, the Bank of Israel succeeded in protecting the Israel banking institutions during the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 - 2009. Unlike many other countries, the Israeli economy and Israeli financial institutions were relatively unaffected and no bank collapsed.
The Bank of Israel has an interesting Visitor’s Center at 37 Lilenblum Street, at the corner of Nahalat Binyamin, that is geared for adults and children.
You can see an exhibit of ancient coins, and coins and bank notes issued by Israel's banks, starting from way before the State of Israel was founded. For kids and adults, there are interactive video games about the history of money, banking in Israel, and more, in both Hebrew and English.
Entrance is free, but you have to schedule your visit between 9 AM to 4 PM. Call to schedule at Tel. 03-564-0781/2 or send an email to:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Almost all of Israel's banks are headquartered in Tel Aviv, the business and financial capital of Israel. Recently, a few banks have moved to nearby Ramat Gan to save costs.
Five main banks in Israel control ninety per cent of the banking activity in Israel. They are:
1. Bank Hapoalim
Address: 50 Rothschild Blvd, Tel Aviv, Tel. 03-567-3333
2. Bank Leumi
Address: 24-32 Yehuda Halevy St, Tel Aviv
3. Israel Discount Bank
Address: 27-31 Yehuda Halevy St Tel Aviv
4. Mizrahi Tefahot Bank
Address: 7 Jabotinsky St. Ramat Gan
5. First International Bank of Israel (FIBI)
Address: 9 Ahad Ha'am St Tel Aviv
The first two, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi are the largest and together make up sixty percent of the market.
Bank Leumi is the oldest bank, founded in 1902 in London. Bank Hapoalim was founded in 1921, Mizrahi Bank in 1923 and Israel Discount Bank in 1935. These four banks were founded way before the founding of the State of Israel. the First International Bank is the newest, founded in 1972.
There are about another dozen smaller Israeli banks. In alphabetical order are:
As of 2018 five foreign banks have offices with some sort of banking activity in Israel. They are, in alphabetical order:
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