Report: Bank Branches Next in Line for Coronavirus Closures

Discount Bank, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi stand next to each other in central Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flas90)

Banks could be next in line for forced closures due to the coronavirus crisis, Globes reported Monday. Sources at the Bank of Israel told the newspaper that as many as three-quarters of bank branches across the country could be shuttered as soon as Tuesday. The sources said that the BoI has instructed banks to prepare for the order and to be ready to implement it when it is issued.

According to the sources, a total of 250 to 300 bank branches will remain open to enable customers to conduct transactions that cannot be done online or at ATMs. With that, ATMs will continue operating as usual, with all services, including check deposit via machine or depositing in a bank depository, continuing as well.

At this point, the Bank sources said, Israeli banks are capable of providing nearly all their services remotely, and as such there is no need to further endanger Israelis by keeping the banks open. For the branches that do remain open, the sources said, customers will be required to make appointments to receive service, and the banks will need to employ health security measures at the entrance of branches.