Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Poalim in the Community – When You Give with All Your Heart it Enriches Your Life
About Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Bank Hapoalim, founded in 1921, is the largest and leading financial institution in Israel. Over its more than 95-year history, Bank Hapoalim has developed an extensive network of branches and commercial banking activities, across all areas of banking, and provides a broad range of banking and financial services to its customers. In addition to its activity in Israel, the bank also operates overseas through branches, representative offices, and subsidiaries, as well as through relationships with banks around the world. The Bank Hapoalim Group is one of the largest employers in the Israeli market, with over 11,500 employees.
The bank’s resilience and its leadership in the Israeli banking system are reflected in its financial statements. Bank Hapoalim released its results for 2017 in March 2018, reporting net profit of NIS 2,660 million in 2017, compared with NIS 2,628 million in 2016. Net return on shareholders’ equity in 2017 reached 7.5%. Excluding the provision in respect of the investigation of the bank group’s business with American clients and costs due to the discontinuation of operations in Switzerland, profit in 2017 totaled NIS 3,348 million, compared with NIS 3,146 million in 2016. Net return on shareholders’ equity excluding these components reached 9.4% in 2017.
Shareholders’ equity totaled NIS 35.9 billion at the end of the year, compared with NIS 33.0 billion at the end of 2016. The bank declared dividends in the amount of NIS 1,065 million in respect of its 2017 profits.
The bank is rated as follows by leading international rating agencies:
Moody’s: A2, Standard & Poor’s: A-, Fitch: A. The bank is also rated, in Israel, at AAA by S&P Maalot Israel Securities Rating Company Ltd. and Aaa by Midroog (a subsidiary of Moody’s).
Activities in Israel
The bank group operates in Israel in all of the various areas of banking, through two main areas:
Retail Banking Area
The Retail Banking Area, one of the key areas of the bank, serves a variety of customers including households, private-banking clients, foreign residents, and small businesses. The bank serves its clients through approximately 230 branches, including both traditional branches and advanced digital branches, which provide the full range of banking services, as well as through a range of direct channels: the bank’s website, mobile applications, call center, and broadly distributed self-service stations.
Corporate Banking Area
The Corporate Banking Area serves most of the bank’s business clients. In the corporate segment, the area operates through sector-specific divisions; in the middle-market segment, the area operates through business centers located across Israel and through the bank’s branches, which provide the area’s customers with operational services.
In addition to its banking business, the bank group also engages in related activities, mainly in the areas of credit cards and the capital market. In the credit-card sector, the bank group, through a subsidiary (the “Isracard Group”), issues, operates, and markets credit cards, within and outside the bank, for use in Israel and overseas, and clears transactions executed using its credit cards as well as credit cards issued by others. The bank group’s capital-market activity includes services for trading transactions in securities (brokerage), securities custody services, currency and derivative trading services, research and consulting, services for financial asset managers, investment portfolio management, investment banking, and issuance underwriting and management.
In addition to its activity in Israel, the bank group operates overseas in the corporate sector. The bank group’s operations are located in Israel, Europe, and the United States. The bank group also operates in the commercial sector in Turkey. Corporate-sector activity abroad includes granting credit to local and foreign borrowers, including credit for the business activities of the Bank’s customers.
The bank serves the largest number of customers in the Israeli banking system. At the end of 2017, the bank’s customers numbered more than two million. The varied target audiences within the bank’s customer base require adaptation and diversification of the range of products and services offered by the bank to the public, and drive the bank’s commitment to personal, human, and technological service. Within this commitment, the bank has established an area dedicated to initiating, developing, and leveraging innovative solutions and new digital and technological growth drivers, which represent a leap forward in the digital value offer for customers. The award-winning payment application ‘Bit’, for easy, quick money transfers to contacts, is just the first result to emerge from the activity of the bank’s Innovation Area.
In 2017, the bank presented its strategic vision for the coming years, under the heading, “Poalim – with you in every decision.”
This innovative vision, centered on the customer and on customers’ needs and financial well-being, expresses a promise to leverage and develop the bank’s professional competence and expertise, and solidify a customer-centric service philosophy designed to help customers make decisions at key financial crossroads during their own lives or the lives of their businesses.
As part of its new strategy, the bank opened the Financial Growth Center in late 2017. The center, founded in collaboration with several organizations specializing in instruction, offers instruction on various financial subjects to customers of all banks – private individuals and business owners. Instruction is offered face-to-face at community centers and instructional centers across Israel, as well as through advanced digital means.
Alongside its business leadership and its economic and technological initiatives, Bank Hapoalim is committed to active, leading involvement in society and in the community. In its community activities, the bank focuses on projects in the area of education, with a particular emphasis on responsible financial behavior as a key to promoting financial freedom. Within this commitment, the bank continues to act as a leader in monetary donations to community causes, focusing on education, culture, and well-being; these donations totaled approximately NIS 43 million in 2017.
Based on its overall performance in metrics of sustainability and corporate responsibility, the bank is a leader in the area of social responsibility in Israel. Bank Hapoalim is ranked at the top of the Platinum Plus category by the local Maala index, the highest classification in its rating scale, and also holds high rankings in international ratings in this field.