Discount lures customers with free parking

The bank plans to roll out a series of "services and benefits that are unusual for the banking center" for Discount Key credit-cardholders.

September 2, 2010 12:21
1 minute read.
Discount lures customers with free parking

discount Shlomo Zohar 248.88. (photo credit: Tamar Mizpi)

Israel Discount Bank is offering free use of centrally located parking lots in the Tel Aviv area to lure customers in response to stiff competition in the retail-banking sector.

Holders of Discount Key credit cards will be entitled to free parking at Central Park lots located in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Herzliya Pituah, the bank announced Wednesday. The service will be valid from 4 p.m. until 7 a.m.

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“The free-parking service in Tel Aviv and surrounding areas provides an answer to an expensive need,” Israel Discount Bank marketing and advertising director Roni Peled said in a press release. “In the coming months we will announce additional services and benefits that are unusual for the banking sector.”

Discount Key credit-card holders are entitled to savings plans and discounts at various retail chains and food outlets, he said, and more than 170,000 of them have joined various savings plans in the past three months.

Net profit at Israel Discount Bank fell 53 percent to NIS 158 million in the second quarter, down from NIS 337m. in the second quarter last year, the bank reported Tuesday. Fee income was down 2% year-on-year to NIS 632m. on lower account management and credit-card fees.

“Israel Discount Bank’s growth has faltered as the focus has been on increasing capital adequacy,” Deutsche Bank research analyst Dan Harverd said in a report Wednesday. “Weak second-quarter results were in part due to the lack of credit growth in recent quarters and also to lower fee income, which suggests a loss of market share, in marked contrast to its main competitors that all showed 5%-10% year-on-year growth in second-quarter fee income.”

Israel Discount Bank has lost market share, mostly in the retail segment, where fees from capital markets activity declined 14% year-on-year despite an improved economic environment, he said.

Harverd downgraded the bank to “hold” from “buy.”

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