Overview of Banks in Israel
The Bank of Israel supervises all banks in the country, performing its duties based on the Bank of Israel Law, 5770-2010, to maintain price stability, support other objectives under the government’s economic policy, and maintain the stability of the financial system. The history of banks in Israel and the domestic banking system can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century before the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Moody’s Investors Services maintains a stable outlook on Israel’s banking system for 2021. It expects a strong economic rebound from last year’s historic contraction will help sustain a gradual recovery in profitability after the pandemic.
For anyone considering a career in banking in Israel, this list of the top banks in Israel is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in Israel Include:
The Israeli Trade Union Congress Histadrut and the Zionist Organization founded Bank Hapoalim in 1921. It is currently the largest bank in Israel and plays a significant role in global financial markets. It operates through 189 bank branches, 619 external and 134 internal ATMs.
The bank also maintains a global presence, operating in the UK, Europe, and North America.
Net income: NIS 2.06 billion (2020)
Total assets: NIS 554.4 billion (3/2021)
In 1902, Bank Leumi was formed to promote industry, construction, agriculture, and land infrastructure. The bank’s headquarters are located in Tel Aviv, providing banking services in Israel, as well as in 21 other countries, including Luxembourg, the U.S., Switzerland, the UK, Mexico, Uruguay, Romania, Jersey, and China.
Net income: NIS 2.1 billion (2020)
Total assets: NIS 556.03 billion (2020)
Israel Discount Bank
Formerly called Eretz Yisrael Discount Bank or Palestine Discount Bank, Israel Discount Bank was founded in 1935, focusing on foreign trade. During that time, the bank differentiated itself from other banks in Palestine by providing services not only to merchants and institutions that most banks cater to but also to private customers.
Headquartered in Tel Aviv, it is one of the largest banks in Israel, with 260 branches and over 8,000 employees.
Net income: NIS 970 million (2020)
Total assets: NIS 306.1 billion (3/2021)
In 2005, Bank Mizrahi-Tefahot was formed between the merger of Bank Mizrahi HaMeuhad and Bank Tefahot. It is the country’s fourth-largest bank and the largest in terms of mortgage lending. Its headquarters are in Ramat Gan, servicing Israel through its 232 branches.
Net income NIS 1.361 billion (2020)
Total assets: NIS 370.4 billion (3/2021)
First International Bank of Israel
The merger of several smaller banks in Israel in 1972 resulted in the establishment of First International Bank of Israel. It is the fifth-largest bank in the country, providing banking services to individuals and large corporate clients. One thing that makes it different from other Israeli banks is that it offers complete paperwork in English. Therefore, it was preferred by many English-speaking immigrants.
First International Bank is also the only major Israeli bank that did not take part in the bank stock scandal in the country during the 1980s, making it the only one of the major banks in Israel that was not nationalized due to the crisis. It established a presence in London in 1981. Three years later, it opened branches in Zurich.
Net income: NIS 750 million (2020)
Total assets: NIS 172.47 billion (3/2021)
Mercantile Discount Bank
With 80 branches throughout the country, commercial bank Mercantile Discount Bank offers comprehensive banking products and services, including consumer, corporate, and investment banking, mortgage loans, private equity, and asset and wealth management. The bank focuses on offering services to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as retail customers. It was founded in 1971 with headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Revenue: NIS 1.06 billion (2016)
Net income: NIS 193 million (2016)
Total assets: NIS 32.64 billion (2016)
Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal
The name of Bank Otsar HaHayal means Bank of the Soldier Treasury. As the name implies, it was founded in 1946 by the British authorities to offer banking solutions to Jewish veterans of the British Armed Forces. It also provided services to veterans of the Israel Defense Forces and defense sector employees.
The bank opened up to the general public in 1972, and in 1977, it was acquired by Bank Hapoalim. It fully turned into one of the commercial public banks in Israel in 1996.
Bank Yahav For Government Employees Ltd
As its name implies, Bank Yahav For Government Employees Ltd provides a range of banking and financial solutions to state employees and companies that are owned by the government. It used to run as a subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim BM. However, in 2008, it began operating as a subsidiary of Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.
Careers in Investment Banking
To break into investment banking, there are several important things to focus on. These include networking, resume, experience, and financial modeling skills. To learn more, explore our interactive career map: For banking careers, you will have a significant edge over the competition with our financial modeling courses.
This has been CFI’s guide to the top banks in Israel. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. Please also see these additional resources: