The Bank’s strengths and leadership are reflected in its financial statements. In March 2019, the Bank published its 2018 results, and reported net income of NIS 2,595 million, compared with NIS 2,660 million in 2017, with a 7.1% net return on equity. Excluding a provision for investigations being conducted by US authorities and without income and costs following the closing down of operations in Switzerland, 2018 net income was NIS 3,579 million, compared with NIS 3,348 million in 2017, while the net return on equity attributed to Bank shareholders after said eliminations in 2018 was 9.7%.
Shareholders’ equity of the Bank totaled NIS 37.5 billion at the end of 2018, compared with NIS 35.9 billion at the end of 2017.
Bank Ha’poalim and the Leading International Rating Agencies:
Moody’s at (A2); Standard & Poor’s at (A-), and (A) by Fitch Ratings. In Israel, the Bank is rated by Standard & Poor’s Ma’alot (Ma’alot) at (AAA), and by Midroog (a subsidiary of Moody’s) at (Aaa).
The Bank Group is active in Israel in all areas of banking and interfaces with the capital markets, through three central divisions – the Corporate Division, the Retail Division and the International Financial Markets and Banking Division.
The Corporate Division serves most of the Bank’s business customers. In the corporate sector, the Division operates through sectors with broad industry expertise. In the mid-market segment, the Division operates through business centers spread throughout the country and through the Bank’s branches that provide operational services to its customers.
The Retail Division serves households, private banking, non-residents, and small businesses through a network of 225 branches, including a mobile branch that provides service in 22 service points (about half of which are senior citizen residences), and advanced digital branches that provide all banking services, along with a variety of direct channels – self-service devices at certain branches, “Poalim on the Internet”, “Poalim by Cell Phone”, the “Poalim by Telephone” call center, requests on “Facebook” and through smartphone apps. As part of the Bank’s concept of service and social responsibility, the Bank considers the accessibility by persons with disabilities as a significant and business-related issue, and under this service concept, all Bank services are extended to people with disabilities and accessibility is taken into consideration when developing new products and processes.
The Financial Markets and International Banking Division coordinates the Bank Group’s operations in most areas of the capital markets, in Israel and abroad, including brokerage services, securities custodianship, currency and derivatives trading services, research and advice, services to financial asset managers, portfolio management, investment banking, underwriting and security issuance management.
Besides banking, the Bank Group is involved in interfacing operations, mainly credit cards and the capital markets. In credit cards, the Bank Group, through subsidiaries (“the Isracard Group”), is involved in issuing, operating and the marketing of credit cards issued by the Bank and non-bank credit cards, in Israel and abroad, and clearing transactions executed with credit cards issued by it and by others.
The Bank Group’s operations in the capital markets focus on providing brokerage services for trading in securities, securities custodianship, trading in currencies and derivatives, research and advice, services for financial asset managers, investment portfolio management, investment banking, underwriting, and security issuance management.
Besides operations in Israel, the Bank Group operates abroad in the business sector, in Israel, Europe, and the United States. The Bank Group also operates in the commercial sector in Turkey. The business sector’s foreign operations include approving credits to local and foreign borrowers by providing credit for business operations of the Bank’s customers.
Commitment to Personal, Human and Technological Services
The Bank serves the most significant number of customers in the Israeli banking system, with over 2 million customers. The broad range of the Bank’s customers requires change and diversification of the range of products and services offered by the Bank to the public and is an engine for the Bank’s commitment to personal, human and technological service. As part of this commitment, the Bank has opened its Innovation Division – which is a dedicated division whose goal is to initiate, develop and leverage new innovative solution and growth engines, both digital and technological, which will be a giant step forward in the digital possibilities offered to customer. The award-winning payment application ‘Bit,’ for easy, quick money transfers to contacts, is just the first result to emerge from the Bank’s innovation efforts.
About a year ago, the Bank launched its new “Poalim with You in Every Decision” slogan, which expresses the Bank’s desire to be the first address for its customers, both private and business, when they come to make a financial decision. This is part of the Bank’s commitment to place the customer’s interests and trust at the center, and understanding that in an age of excess information, experts and opinions, decision making has become more sophisticated, especially in the financial sphere where every decision has a significant impact on one’s life.
The Bank’s three-year strategic plan for 2019-2021 focuses on five main points:
Leadership creates value in Israel in customer segments, and activities focused – on entrenching the relationship and operations with the Bank’s customers, based on innovation in services and optimization of activity channels, increasing value-added, creating customized solutions for customers and strengthening the business focus on potential activities.
Enhancing customer value while integrating personal, human, and technological relationships – tailored, accessible, and intuitive banking service that combines advanced digital services with human service and advice in complex activities and decision intersections.
Building the future – building infrastructures, innovation, and focused international growth – strengthening the infrastructure for future growth, developing advanced technological capabilities while cooperating with the business environment and developing commercial operations in the United States.
A sustainable shared value with stakeholders – promoting business processes that create a shared value for the public and the Bank, while increasing transparency and promoting dialogue with all stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, and other groups that have contact with the Bank).
Simplification and continued operational excellence – optimization in the allocation of all resources, while simplifying and redesigning all processes, from beginning to end, to enhance customer value and implementing a multi-year efficiency plan.
Alongside business leadership and economic and technological initiatives, Bank Ha’poalim is committed to active and leading involvement in society and the community. In its contacts with the community, the Bank focuses on projects in education, with particular emphasis on education for economic conduct, as a key to the advancement of financial freedom. As part of this commitment, the Bank continues to be a leading factor in monetary contributions to the community, especially in the periphery and in the promotion of social mobility in the fields of education, culture, and welfare. In 2018, monetary contributions totaled NIS 36 million.
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