Switch Announced in Bank Services

Bank Discount, Bank HaPoalim and Bank Leumi standing next to each other in the center of Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/ FLASH90)

A new, customer-friendly system enabling Israelis to more easily switch banks will debut on Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Customers will be able to transfer their accounts from one bank to another online, free of charge in a procedure that promises to take no more than seven days.

Dubbed “follow me” service, any charges or deposits reaching the old account will automatically be routed to the new one within two years of the switch. Until now, any debits or credits for a closed account are returned, and the onus is on the customer to arrange the transaction.

The new system, which was developed over more than three years, is part of a series of steps led by the Bank of Israel and the Finance Ministry to enhance competition in the banking industry.

Although many Israelis express dissatisfaction with the services offered by their current bank, very few take their business elsewhere, due to the high cost and inconvenience involved.

“Completing this step is another stage on the way toward an open, transparent, and more competitive financial system that we are promoting on several fronts, and that will enable customers to easily and conveniently choose the providers of the various financial services they use,” said Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Amir Yaron. “

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