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Switching Banks in Israel

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Last Updated on October 12, 2021

Switching Banks in Israel – Now it’s easier to move your account from one bank to another.

opening a bank account in israel

Have you ever considered switching banks since you arrived in Israel? Probably yes!

You surely remember those first days of your Aliyah, when you had to open a bank account and if that wasn’t hard enough, finding a branch employee who spoke English, was patient and vaguely friendly was almost impossible. You were sure you’d find a better bank, better service and better conditions somewhere else but that was not so.

Until now, changing banks has been a nightmare; endless trips to the branch, paperwork, tracking transactions, undoing errors and extra bank charges – staying put was easier.

Some good news from the Bank of Israel though…

As of Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 Israelis can switch banks much more easily. A new system enables bank customers to switch from one bank to another, online, quickly and at no cost.

Now, bank accounts can be switched within seven days, and any charges or deposits reaching the old account will automatically be directed to the new account within two years of the switch. Currently any debits or credits for a closed account are returned, and the onus is on the customer to arrange the transaction.

You can submit a digital request to transfer from one bank to another via the banks’ websites or physically at your branch.

If your bank account is complicated or any legal holds, you may may not be eligible for this new program called “Follow Me”.

The Bank of Israel advises that if you have any queries or issues you should liaise with the new bank and NOT with the old.

Information about the process is also available at switchbank.org.il (a Hebrew website from the Bank of Israel)

Under the new system you will be able to move credit balances in shekels and in foreign currency, debit balances, authorized debits of a current account, checks, securities (Israeli and foreign), credit card activities and standing orders.

Special arrangements must be made for your loans and mortgages as well as your savings accounts. Banks will work out the transfer on an individual basis.

Customers of Union Bank and Bank of Jerusalem will not be able to make use of this service at this time. (Union Bank is expected to merge with Mizrahi Tifahot and client numbers at Bank of Jerusalem are too low.)

If you make use of this service, please let us know if you were satisfied or not. By leaving a comment below, you’ll be helping a friend.

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