After quarterly loss Bank Hapoalim closes its independent activity in Switzerland

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Financial Jul 5, 2023

After another quarterly loss, Bank Hapoalim decided to close its independent activity in Switzerland. The closure of the banking activity in Switzerland has been causing losses to the bank for some time, so in addition to the closure of the investigation in the USA, the bank decided to completely close the local activity. The bank today completed the delivery of its independent banking license in Switzerland.
In the past, the activity of the Israeli banks in Switzerland was an interesting activity. The Israeli banks applied for (and received) a Swiss banking license, which subjected their activities there to the strict banking laws that included complete confidentiality of the names of the account holders and, in general, the banking activities carried out there.
In the previous decade, new and strict laws were enacted led by the American government which resulted in the cancellation of the special Swiss banking secrecy and now banking secrecy there is almost the same as all over the world. The new legislation then ended the issue of numbered accounts. That is, accounts whose owners do not have a name but a number that can be used to identify themselves and withdraw or deposit funds.
After the whole issue of numbered accounts was abolished there was no point for non-Swiss banks to hold a local banking license because of the heavy costs that such an activity entails. Bank Hapoalim's banking activities caused it losses of 2 million Swiss francs in the first quarter of this year and losses of 5 million Swiss francs in the corresponding quarter last year. The decrease in the quarterly losses of the activity in Switzerland is attributed to the decrease in legal expenses related to the investigation in the USA (which has been closed in the meantime) and not because of an increase in activity and hence the decision to return the banking license.
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