Bank Hapoalim

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Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Company typePublic
IndustryBanking, financial services
Founded1921; 103 years ago (1921)
Key people
Dov Kotler, CEO
Oded Eran, Chairman of the Board
ProductsCredit cards, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, securities, asset management
RevenueIncreaseUS$10.8 billion (2021)[1]
IncreaseUS$684.6 million (2016)
Total assetsIncreaseUS$168.1 billion (2021)[1]
OwnerShari Arison (15.74%)
Number of employees
8,708 (2021)[1]

Bank Hapoalim (Hebrew: בנק הפועלים lit. The Workers' Bank) is one of the largest banks in Israel, established in 1921. The bank offers a broad range of financial services to retail, corporate, and institutional customers, with a focus on retail banking services.[2] It operates a network of more than 250 branches and offices in Israel and abroad. Bank Hapoalim is a prominent player in the Israeli banking sector, with a significant market share.


The bank was established in 1921 by the Histadrut, the Israeli trade union congress (lit. "General Federation of Laborers in the Land of Israel") and the Zionist Organisation.

The bank was owned by the Histadrut until 1983, when it was nationalized following the Bank Stock Crisis. The bank was held by the Israeli government until 1996 when it was sold to a group of investors led by Ted Arison.

The bank has a significant presence in global financial markets. In Israel, it has over 600 ATMs (automated teller machines), 250 bank branches, 7 regional business centers, 22 business branches and industry desks for major corporate customers. The bank's stock is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

At the end of 2015, the bank had 11,930 employees worldwide. It is controlled by Arison Holdings, owned by Shari Arison. Arison Holdings owns a total of 15.74 per cent of the bank.

In 2021, the bank reported a net profit of 915 million shekels ($267 million) in Q4 2020, compared to a net loss of 629 million shekels in Q4 2019. The bank's credit portfolio grew, and it entered the digital wallet sector and made deals with banks in Bahrain and the UAE.[3]

In 2023, the bank reported a record net profit of NIS 6.5bn ($1.82bn) for 2022, up 33% from the previous year, boosted by a rise in interest rates and higher inflation.[4]

Global presence[edit]

The bank operates several international subsidiaries: In the City of London and Poalim Asset Management (UK) Limited; in the United States (New York City, California, & Miami) and in Canada; BHI Private Banking, Switzerland Bank Hapoalim (Switzerland) Ltd., Zürich, Geneva, Luxembourg, South America, and the Cayman Islands.

2018-2022 Plan[edit]

Bank Hapoalim reached an agreement that cancels the labor dispute called by the Histadrut labour federation in December. The Jan 2020 deal, according to the regulatory filing by the bank in Tel Aviv, suggests to raise worker wages by an average of 3.7% from 2018 to 2022, bank employees will also get a one-time grant of 210 million shekels ($60.6 million), whereas the bank also place to reduce its workforce by over 900 jobs through an early retirement plan.[5]

Controversies and criticism[edit]

Tax evasion and money laundering[edit]

On 30 April 2020, the Bank was found to be complicit in tax evasion and money laundering relating to FIFA and bidding for the World Cup. It was ordered to pay fine of $874.3 million after pleading guilty to the first charge, which involved helping US taxpayers to stash some $7.6 billion in more than 5,500 secret Swiss and Israeli bank accounts. It was the second-largest recovery by the US Department of Justice since it began investigating the facilitation of US tax evasion by foreign banks in 2008.[6]

It was ordered to pay $30 million in forfeitures and fines in relation to the second charge, which pertained to helping launder more than $20 million in bribes and kickbacks for officials involved in the corruption scandal that embroiled football's world governing body FIFA in 2015.[6] Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation chief, Don Fort, said "There is no excuse for a foreign financial institution to unlawfully assist wealthy Americans in flouting their responsibilities to pay their taxes. With today's guilty plea, Bank Hapoalim is taking responsibility for their role in deliberately breaking the law and undermining the integrity of this nation's tax system."

Assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski stated that "for nearly five years, Bank Hapoalim employees used the US financial system to launder tens of millions of dollars in bribe payments to corrupt soccer officials in multiple countries", while William Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI's New York field office, said that "Bank Hapoalim admits executives looked the other way, and allowed illicit activity to continue even when employees discovered the scheme and reported it."[6]

Involvement in Israeli settlements[edit]

In January 2014, Danske Bank and the Dutch pension fund PGGM blacklisted Bank Hapoalim for its involvement in the financing of settlements in the Palestinian territories.[7]

In October 2017, Danish pension firm Sampension banned investment in Hapoalim alongside three other companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including Bank Leumi, Israeli telecoms firm Bezeq and German firm Heidelberg Cement.[8]

On 12 February 2020, the United Nations published a database of 112 companies helping to further Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in the occupied Golan Heights.[9] These settlements are considered illegal under international law.[10] Bank Hapoalim was listed on the database on account of its "provision of services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements" and "banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities" in these occupied territories.[11]

On 5 July 2021, Norway's largest pension fund KLP said it would divest from Bank Hapoalim together with 15 other business entities implicated in the UN report for their links to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.[12]

Bank logos[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Bank Hapoalim". Forbes. 2021-05-13.
  2. ^ "Israel's Largest Bank, Bank Hapoalim, Admits to Conspiring with U.S. Taxpayers to Hide Assets and Income in Offshore Accounts". 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2023-03-09.
  3. ^ "Israel's Bank Hapoalim moves to fourth quarter profit, sees economic uncertainty". Reuters. 2021-03-11. Retrieved 2023-03-09.
  4. ^ "Bank Hapoalim reports record NIS 6.5 billion net profit in 2022". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2023-03-09.
  5. ^ "Israel's Bank Hapoalim reaches new wage deal, to cut 900 jobs by 2022". January 8, 2020 – via
  6. ^ a b c "Israel's Bank Hapoalim Pays $900 Mn Over Tax Evasion, FIFA Cases". AFP. 30 April 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  7. ^ Ravid, Barak (February 2014). "Denmark's Largest Bank Blacklists Israel's Hapoalim Over Settlement Construction". Haaretz.
  8. ^ "Danish pension fund bans four firms over West Bank settlement activity". Jerusalem Post.
  9. ^ "UN rights office issues report on business activities related to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  10. ^ "UN Security Council Resolution 2334, 2016 (S/RES/2334(2016))". United Nations Security Council. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Database of all business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank (A/HRC/43/71)". UN OCHA. 12 Feb 2020. Retrieved 2021-09-12.
  12. ^ Fouche, Gwladys; Jessop, Simon (5 July 2021). "Nordic fund KLP excludes 16 companies over links to Israeli settlements in West Bank". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-09-13.

External links[edit]