German Bank Apologizes for Teller’s Refusal to Open Account for Israeli


A teller in a major bank in Berlin refused to open an account for an Israeli citizen living in Germany, claiming that his country was under embargo, Ynet reported.

The incident occurred at Bank Sparkasse, one of Germany’s biggest, in the Alexanderplatz branch.

Yakir Avraham asked to open an account. The teller took his Israeli passport and went into another room to check it. She returned a few minutes later and said “I’m very sorry, but we cannot open up a bank account for you here. We aren’t allowed to open accounts for citizens of countries under embargo.”

“I was in shock at first. How did it get to the point that they treat us like lepers? I took my passport and left the bank,” Avraham said.

Asked to comment, the bank’s management—after a delay of two weeks—responded by saying it was an error on the part of the teller, adding: “All we can do is apologize.”

“It’s clear that this isn’t our business policy. This is an unfortunate mistake made by a young colleague who is still in training, and who didn’t know how to deal with the situation properly. She deeply apologizes for the mistake. We hope that Mr. Avraham accepts our explanation and apology,” the bank said in a statement.