Israeli banks and insurance companies canceling events due to Omicron

Bank Leumi is not the only one operating in the spirit of the times. This year, Bank Hapoalim also held its annual event for customers under coronavirus restrictions. 

Pedestrians are reflected in the windows of a branch of Bank Leumi, Israel's second-largest lender, in Tel Aviv, Israel (photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)
Pedestrians are reflected in the windows of a branch of Bank Leumi, Israel's second-largest lender, in Tel Aviv, Israel
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS / REUTERS)

The resurgence of coronavirus is leaving its mark on the Israeli banking system. 

Following the increase in morbidity, some banks canceled customer events, which traditionally take place at the end of the year. For example, Discount Bank announced the cancellation of an event, scheduled to take place last week at the Tel Aviv Port. 

The cancellation notice sent by Yuval Gavish, head of the ad of the Corporate Banking Division, said that due to the spread of the virus and in order not to put customers at risk, the bank decided to postpone the event.

On the other hand, Bank Leumi CEO Hanan Friedman decided to go ahead with an event last week with the participation of hundreds of customers at Tel Aviv University. Two members of the management were also present at the event. One of them later tested positive for COVID-19, however, it is not clear if he contracted it during the conference itself. Other senior executives at the bank have also tested positive in recent days.

In recent weeks, Leumi's management has been holding its meetings via Zoom, partially because of the increase in infections but also because some of the managers have already moved their offices to a new building in Lod, while others remain at the old office on Yehuda Halevi Street in Tel Aviv.

In response to the report, Bank Leumi said: "The bank adheres to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health in order to maintain the health of its employees and customers. The event took place in accordance with all coronavirus guidelines. The bank was even more stringent and canceled a planned meal planned at the beginning of the event." 

Bank Leumi is not the only one operating in the spirit of the times. This year, Bank Hapoalim also held its annual event for customers under coronavirus restrictions. 

The insurance industry is also feeling the effects of the spread of the virus. Menora Mivtachim CEO Yehuda Ben-Assayag ordered the postponement of a large event that was supposed to take place at Menora Mivtachim sports arena in Tel Aviv. 

“The event was not canceled but postponed,” Ben-Assayag said. “In the current situation and in view of the spread of the virus we could not take responsibility and hold the event. It will take place at another time, after the infection rate declines.”