Central bank invests NIS 2m. in bank fee campaign

The Bank of Israel aims to encourage customers to choose banking services more intelligently.

shekels good 88 (photo credit: )
shekels good 88
(photo credit: )
The Bank of Israel is investing NIS 2 million in an advertising campaign to raise public awareness of the new bank fee reform and to encourage customers to choose banking services more intelligently. The two-week ad campaign, which started on Sunday evening, is aimed at encouraging the Israeli customer to make use of the new tools in place to compare fees charged and services offered by the banks to manage their bank accounts more efficiently depending on their individual needs. The campaign will include TV, radio and Internet broadcasts explaining the reform. Spots will target the haredi sector, as well as Russian and Arabic speakers. The Bank of Israel Web site (www.boi.gov.il) features calculators that customers can use to figure out the cost of checking accounts and credit cards. The new service is intended to be one of the main tools allowing consumers to find the bank that offers the best services for their personal banking needs at the lowest prices. The bank is also publishing comparative basic bank fees for checking accounts, credit cards, securities, and fees for managing small business accounts. Furthermore, bank customers are able to download a price comparison statement, which is handy when negotiating with their banks over fee plans. For the consumer public with little or no access to the Internet, the Banking Supervision department has opened a telephone information line (02) 655-2680. Under the new bank fee reform, which came into effect on July 1, the number of fees for customers' current accounts are consolidated from the 15 different types currently charged to two types: one for direct transactions either through the Internet, telephone or automated tellers; and one for transactions through a bank clerk. For checking accounts, banks are allowed to differentiate between common services received at a branch and operations received directly (by Internet, telephone or other automated tools - without personal handling from a teller). A list of common, direct-banking operations are charged a uniform fee of between NIS 1.35 by Bank Hapoalim and NIS 2.9 by Union Bank. Teller-assisted services will are more expensive, ranging from NIS 5.5 per operation charged by Bank Leumi to NIS 7 charged by Bank Mizrahi. The average monthly checking account management fee fell from NIS 24.50 to NIS 24 as a result of the reform.