About Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Bank Hapoalim, founded in 1921, is the largest and leading financial institution in Israel. Over its 98-year history, Bank Hapoalim has developed a network of branches for managing customer relationships and providing service and advisory in complex operations and decision crossroads. The bank also developed advanced digital capabilities and it provides customized, accessible and intuitive banking services for 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 about 9,400 employees.
The Bank’s strengths and leadership are reflected in its financial statements. In March 2019, the Bank published its 2018 results, and reported a net income of NIS 2,595 million, compared with NIS 2,660 million in 2017, with a 7.1% net return on equity. Excluding a provision for investigations being conducted by US authorities and without income and costs following the closing down of operations in Switzerland, 2018 net income was NIS 3,579 million, compared with NIS 3,348 million in 2017, while the net return on equity attributed to Bank shareholders after said eliminations in 2018 was 9.7%. Shareholders’ equity of the Bank totaled NIS 37.5 billion at the end of 2018, compared with NIS 35.9 billion at the end of 2017.
The bank is rated as follows by leading international rating agencies:
Moody’s (A2), Standard & Poor’s (A-), Fitch Ratings (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).
The bank group operates in Israel in all of the various areas of banking and related capital-markets activities, through three main divisions: The Business Division, The Retail Division and the Financial Markets and International Banking Division.
The Business Division serves most of the bank’s business customers. In the corporate segment, the division operates through industry-specific sectors; in the middle-market segment, the division operates through business centers located across Israel and through the bank’s branches, which provide the division’s customers with operational services
The Retail Banking Division serves, inter alia, households, private-banking clients, foreign residents, and small businesses, through 225 branches including a portable branch which provides services for customers in 22 service points (about half of which are nursing homes), and advanced digital branches which provide the full range of banking services, as well as through a range of direct channels: widespread self-service stations in branches in “customer premises”, “Poalim on the Internet”, “Poalim in Mobile Devices”, a call center, and application through Facebook, apps and smartphones. As part of its service-orientation and social responsibility, the bank sees accessibility for the disabled as a material issue and business duty – and in this framework The bank made all of its services accessible for people with disabilities and it takes accessibility into consideration when developing new products and processes and customizing unique solutions for its customers.
The Financial Market and International Banking Division is the center for the bank group’s operations in most of the capital market activities in Israel and abroad. These operations include, inter alia, securities execution and brokerage, securities custody, currencies and derivatives trading services, research and advisory, services for financial assets managers, portfolio management, investment banking, underwriting and issuance management.
In addition to its banking and financial markets business, the bank group also engages in related activities, mainly in the area of credit cards. In the credit-card sector, the bank group, through its subsidiaries (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.
In addition to its activity in Israel, the bank group operates overseas in the business 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. Business-sector activity abroad includes granting credit to local and foreign borrowers, including credit for the business activities of the Bank’s customers.
A Commitment to Personal, Human and Technological Service
The bank serves the largest number of customers in the Israeli banking system, with more than two million customers. 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 its innovation division – which is 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 Division.
About a year ago, the bank launched its “Poalim – with you in every decision” Brand, which expresses its aim to serve as its (private and business) customers go-to address when they make financial decisions. All as part of the bank’s commitment to emphasize the customers’ interests and trust, and from the understanding that in an age of surplus information, experts and opinions, decision-making has become more complex, particularly in the financial realm, where every decision has a considerable impact on one’s life.
The Bank’s 3-year strategic plan for 2019-2021 focuses on five major points:
Value-Creating Leadership in Israel in Prioritized Customer Segments and Activities: deepening the relationships and activities with the bank’s customers, on the basis of service innovation and channel optimization, deepening the added-value, creating customized solutions for varying customer needs and strengthening the business focus on promising activities.
Empowering the Customer Value while Integrating Personal, Human and Technological Contact: a customized, accessible and intuitive banking service, which integrates advanced digital services with human service and advisory in complex activities and decision crossroads.
Building the Tomorrow: Building Infrastructures, Innovation and Focused International Growth: Strengthening the infrastructures for future growth, developing advanced technological capabilities with collaborations with the business environment and developing the commercial operations in the U.S.
Sustainable Shared Value with Stakeholders: Promoting business moves that create a shared value for the public and the bank, while increasing transparency and maintaining a dialogue with all of the stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers and other groups that interact with the bank)
Simplification and Ongoing Professional Excellence: Optimization in the allocation of all of the resources, while simplifying and redesigning processes from end to end in order to empower the value for the customer and implement a multiannual streamlining program.
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 36 million in 2018.
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