Israel Discount Bank

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Coordinates: 32°3′42.30″N 34°46′13.72″E / 32.0617500°N 34.7704778°E / 32.0617500; 34.7704778

Israel Discount Bank Ltd.
Traded as TASEDSCT
Industry Banking
Financial services
Founded 1935; 83 years ago (1935)
Headquarters Bank Discount Tower, Tel Aviv, Israel
Key people
Joseph Bachar
Lilach Asher- Topilsky
(President and CEO)
Products Credit cards, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, Securities, asset management, wealth management
Revenue IncreaseUS$2.4 Billion (2016)
Profit IncreaseUS$ 236 million (2016)
Number of employees
5,705 (2008)
Subsidiaries Mercantile Discount Bank
Discount Mortgage Bank
Israel Discount Bank of New York (IDB Bank)

Israel Discount Bank Ltd. (Hebrew: בנק דיסקונט לישראל בע"מ‎) is one of Israel's three largest banks, with 260 branches, around 5,700 staff, and assets of 185 billion (US$48 billion).[1][2]


IDB Bank on Fifth Avenue in New York City
Current logo (Hebrew)
Current logo (Hebrew)
previous logo
previous logo

Israel Discount Bank, formerly known as Eretz Yisrael Discount Bank or Palestine Discount Bank, was founded on 5 April 1935 by Leon Recanati, a new immigrant from Greece who had been the head of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki.[3][4] His partners were Moshe Carasso and Yosef Albo.[5][6][7] The bank operated in a store at 39 Yehuda Halevi St. in Tel Aviv. It was founded with a focus on foreign trade and with a deliberate Sephardic orientation so as to fill what Recanati perceived as a Sephardic void in the banking industry.[8] Discount was unique in that it was open to private customers, whereas most other banks in Palestine at the time catered to merchants and institutions.[9]

Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Ottoman Bank, one of five large foreign banks active at the time, was merged into Discount Bank.[10][11] Discount became Israel's second largest bank in 1952, with over 40 branches throughout the country.[12][13] It retained that position until the merger of Bank Hapoalim with the credit and saving funds of the Histadrut in 1957.[14][15] Discount opened its first commercial bank in the United States in 1962 in the form of Israel Discount Bank of New York, or IDB Bank.[16] In 1965 Discount Bank was still described as a "bastion of the veteran Sephardic establishment."[17]

In 1952, the name of the bank was changed to Israel Discount Bank.

Discount began establishing a presence in Florida in the late 1970s, at the time specializing in international banking. In 2002 it expanded its Florida-based operations to encompass domestic banking as well, after taking over part of the Hamilton Bank of Miami, which had been seized and closed by regulators.[18]


  • 1935 – bank founded in Tel Aviv.
  • 1949 – first public branch opens in Haifa; subsidiary established in U.S.[18]
  • 1962 – first overseas branch opened at 511 5th Avenue in New York City.
  • 1963 – IPO on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[19]
  • 1965 – 100th branch is opened.
  • 1972 – I.D.B. becomes first Israeli bank to install external ATMs.
  • 1983 – subsequent to the bank stock crisis, ownership is transferred to the Government of Israel.
  • 2006 – control of the bank is tendered to private hands, though the government continues to hold 31% of shares. The bank's new headquarters is at the Discount Bank Tower on Yehuda HaLevi Street, Tel Aviv.[20]
  • 12 January 2010 – government sells an additional 5% of the 25% bank's stock it owned at the time.
  • January 2014 Moody's rating remains A1 Positive

Major holdings[edit]

Major Holdings of the bank include Mercantile Discount Bank, Israel Discount Bank of New York, shares in First International Bank of Israel, the Israel Discount Mortgage Bank, and Israel Credit Cards–Cal.

Mercantile Discount Bank[edit]

Mercantile Discount Bank has its roots in the Anglo-Egyptian Bank, founded in 1864. Anglo-Egyptian operated four branches in Mandatory Palestine – in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, and Gaza. In 1925 Anglo-Egyptian was merged, along with Colonial Bank and the National Bank of South Africa, into Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas). A subsidiary, jointly and equally owned by Barclays and Israel Discount Bank, was established in 1971–1972 and named Barclays Discount Bank. Israel Discount acquired full ownership of Barclays Discount in 1993 and renamed it Mercantile Discount Bank.[21][22][23][24][25]

Israel Discount Bank of New York[edit]

Israel Discount Bank established a subsidiary in the U.S. in 1949.[18] The first U.S. branch was opened on New York's Fifth Avenue in 1962 in a ceremony attended by Eleanor Roosevelt and New York City Mayor Robert Wagner.[26][27] Eleanor Roosevelt opened the first account in the bank.[28] In 1967–1968 it acquired the Hias Immigrant Bank and changed its name to IDB Trust Company. It became the Israel Discount Bank of New York in 1979.[29][30] IDBNY has historically been tied to Jewish communities in Latin America, with funds from Chile, Brazil, Peru and Mexico accounting for 58% of the bank's deposits. It was ranked the 14th largest bank in New York in 2011 and was one of the few banks that did not suffer losses during the subprime mortgage crisis.[31]

Israel Credit Cards–Cal[edit]

Israel Credit Cards–Cal (ICC–Cal, Visa–Cal, or simply Cal) is a credit card company in Israel that issues Visa, MasterCard and Diners credit cards. It was established in 1978 with Bank Leumi controlling 65% of the company and Discount Bank holding 35%.[32] In 1998 the Antitrust Authority ordered Leumi and Discount to dissolve their partnership in order to increase competition.[33][34] Leumi subsequently sold its stake to Discount, which in turn sold 24% to businessman Eliezer Fishman, 20% to First International Bank of Israel, and 5% to Harel Insurance Investments.[35] By mid-2007 Discount had regained a controlling interest of 71.8% in the company.[36]

A Nielsen Report published in 2007 indicated that Cal ranked 82nd in credit card issuing in the world in 2005.[37]


The bank's president is Lilach Asher- Topilsky.[38] Joseph Bachar is the chairman of the board of directors.[39]

Herzl at Lilienblum Street(s) Museum[edit]

To receive a permit for building the 30-story Bank Discount Tower to house the bank headquarters on Herzl Street in Tel Aviv, Bank Discount undertook the historical restoration of the Schiff House, built in 1910. The building reopened as the Museum of Banking and Tel Aviv Nostalgia, featuring interactive exhibits and old movie clips.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dun's 100 Israel's Largest Enterprises 2011 – Commercial Banks – by Total Assets", Dun & Bradstreet Israel, 2012, archived from the original on 14 July 2012, retrieved 6 June 2012 
  2. ^ "Discount Bank - Banks in Israel". Banks in Israel. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  3. ^ Pederson, Jay P., ed. (2008). International Directory of Company Histories: Volume 97. St. James Press. ISBN 9781558626188. Retrieved 20 May 2012. In 1935, therefore, Recanati decided to create his own bank, called Palestine Discount Bank. 
  4. ^ "Salonika". Encyclopaedia Judaica. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 20 May 2012. Among the notable families from Salonika were the Florentin, *Recanati, Molcho, and Uzziel families. Leon Recanati founded the Israel Discount Bank, which later developed into one of the most important banks in the country, and the Florentin quarter of Tel Aviv is a manifestation of the initiative of immigrants from Salonika. 
  5. ^ Horesh, Hadar (7 September 2007). יואל קרסו: 'אני מרגיש את הזנב שלי עולה באש; אני חייב לרוץ, אני צריך להוכיח את עצמי' [Yoel Carasso: 'I feel my tail on fire; I've got to run, I have to prove myself']. TheMarker (in Hebrew). Retrieved 20 May 2012. ראש המשפחה, ליאון רקנאטי, הקים בשותפות עם משה קרסו את בנק דיסקונט באמצע שנות ה-30. 
  6. ^ Tidhar, David, ed. (1949). "הנרי (חיים) בורלא". Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel (in Hebrew). 3. Israel. p. 1354. Retrieved 15 March 2013. ב-1935 בא לבקר בארץ, ובאותו הזמן נוסד בנק א"י לדיסקונט בע"מ על ידי מר ליאון ריקנטי (ראה כרך א', עמוד 174), יוסף אלבו ומשה קרסו. 
  7. ^ Lori, Aviva (20 August 2004). "Sour Grapes". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Shmoul, Avi. "Leon Recanati". Lifestyles Magazine. Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 20 May 2012. The elder Leon, who was a teacher by profession, soon discovered that there were 70 banks in the country, but not one of them was run by Sephardim (Jews of Spanish or Middle Eastern descent). For this reason, he founded the Palestine Discount Bank in 1935, with a Sephardic orientation and an emphasis on foreign trade. 
  9. ^ Kramer, Stephen (12 December 2008). "Modern Caesarea". Jewish Times of South Jersey. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2012. The bank was unique in that it was open to private customers, unlike the other few dozen banks operating in Palestine at that time, which mostly catered to business people and companies. 
  10. ^ Lavi, Zvi (19 January 2005). "Arabic names included in appendix of Holocaust victims' deposits report". Globes. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Note on Currency and Banking in Palestine and Transjordan". United Nations. 18 July 1949. Retrieved 23 May 2012. Lastly, the five big foreign banks are the Anglo-Palestine Bank; Barclay's Bank; the Ottoman Bank; the Holland Bank Union and the (Polish) Polska Kasa Opieki Bank. 
  12. ^ אודות חייו של הארי רקנאטי, מייסד מוזיאוני ראלי לאומניות [On the life of Harry Recanati, founder of the Ralli art museums] (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012. ניהול הבנק בראשותו של הארי זכה להצלחה, ולקראת שנת 1952 הפך לבנק השני בגודלו בארץ. 
  13. ^ Aisenberg, Lydia (21 March 2007). "The Ralli Museum of Modern Art offers visitors an artistic treat without the constraints of a traditional gallery". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 May 2012. Renamed the Israel Discount Bank Ltd., the bank was Israel's second largest by the end of 1952, with over 40 branches throughout the country. 
  14. ^ Galor, Zvi (June 1998). "Credit Co-ops and Co-operative Banks – the Israeli Case Study". Co-op Dialogue. International Co-operative Alliance. 8 (1): 31–39. Retrieved 23 May 2012. During the fifties a process started of mergers and amalgamations of these funds into Bank Hapoalim, a process which was accomplished by 1957. 
  15. ^ Greenberg, Yitzhak (1996). "הרפורמות בחברת העובדים בעקבות העלייה הגדולה". In Ofer, Daliah. בין עולים לוותיקים: ישראל בעלייה הגדולה, 1948–1953 [Israel in the Great Wave of Immigration: 1948–1953] (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi. p. 221. ISBN 965-217-131-X. Retrieved 23 May 2012. הפתרון שאומץ היה מיזוג בין הבנק לבין הקופות, בשנת 1957. האיחוד תרם לחישולו של בנק הפועלים כמכשיר הפיננסי של ההסתדרות, ולביסוסו כמנוף לפיתוח משק העובדים. הוא גם ביסס את מעמדו של הבנק במשק הישראלי בכלל ובמערכת הפיננסית בישראל בפרט, ובעקבותיו השיג בנק הפועלים את בנק דיסקונט ותפס את המקום השני אחרי בנק לאומי. 
  16. ^ Wrobel, Sharon (13 August 2009). "Discount seeks to buy small NYC bank to expand its US activity, chairman tells 'Post'". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Elizur, Yuval (2008). "Chapter 6: Dan Tolkovsky". In Sharett, Yaakov; Cohen, Yifaat. 31 דמויות ממעצבי דור המדינה [31 Shapers of the First Sixty Years of Israel] (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Carmel. p. 131. ISBN 978-965-407-869-6. Retrieved 23 May 2012. המגע הישיר הבא בין טולקובסקי לביני היה בשנת 1965 לאחר מינויו למכ"ל החברה להשקעות של בנק דיסקונט. בנק דיסקונט היה באותם ימים מבצר הממסד הספרדי הוותיק. 
  18. ^ a b c Freer, Jim (18 February 2002). "Israel Discount Bank picks up Hamilton's pieces". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Israel Discount Bank to Offer 300,000 Shares in the United States". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 25 March 1964. Retrieved 28 May 2012. In April 1963, the Bank offered shares for the first time to the public in Israel and simultaneously placed a limited number of shares with private investors in the United States. 
  20. ^ WROBEL, Sharon (January 4, 2010). "ISRAEL DISCOUNT BANK NAMES YOSSI BACHAR ITS NEW CHAIRMAN". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 23 December 2017. 
  21. ^ "Part 18: United Kingdom". Handbook on the History of European Banks. Aldershot: Edward Elgar Publishing. 1994. p. 1198. ISBN 1-85278-919-0. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  22. ^ Keltie, John Scott (1921). The Statesman's Year-Book. London: Macmillan Publishers. p. 1356. Retrieved 28 May 2012. The most important bank in Palestine is the Anglo-Egyptian Bank with branches at Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, and Gaza. 
  23. ^ Ackrill, Margaret; Hannah, Leslie (2002). "Chapter 6: Barclays abroad: the transition to global banking (1945–1992)". Barclays: The Business of Banking 1690–1996. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 288. ISBN 0-521-79035-2. Retrieved 28 May 2012. However, in 1972 50% of the barely profitable business was sold to a new subsidiary, jointly owned, 50-50, with Discount Bank, Israel's second largest bank, and Discount eventually bought all of Barclays' share. 
  24. ^ Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (16 August 2011). "Barclays Joins Foreign Love Affair with Israel". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  25. ^ Aizescu, Sivan (15 August 2011). "Barclays reestablishes commercial operations in Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  26. ^ "Israeli Bank Opens U.S. Branch". The New York Times. 4 April 1962. 
  27. ^ "IDB Bankholding Corporation Limited". Harvard Business School. Lehman Brothers Collection: Contemporary Business Archives. 1972. Retrieved 26 May 2012. In 1962, to much press coverage, including a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Eleanor Roosevelt and New York Mayor Wagner, the bank opened a branch in New York City. 
  28. ^ "Israel Bank Opens Branch in New York; Mrs. Roosevelt Opens First Account" (PDF). Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 4 April 1962. p. 4. Retrieved 26 May 2012. [permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Israel Discount Bank Buys Hias Immigrant Bank; Fiscal Statement Gives Details". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 12 January 1968. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  30. ^ "An Institutional History of Banks Operating in New York State – I". New York State Department of Financial Services. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 11/02/1967 Name Change To IDB Trust Company 
  31. ^ Peer, Eran (14 July 2011). "Discount Bank of New York sets sights on local market". Globes. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  32. ^ Gilo, David; Spiegel, Yossi (September 2005). "The credit card industry in Israel" (PDF). Federal Reserve Bank of New York. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  33. ^ Koren, Ora (8 July 1998). "Tadmor to Leumi, Discount Banks: Dissolve Partnership in Visa by End '99". Globes. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  34. ^ Maltz, Judy (13 September 1999). "Application by Bank Leumi, Discount Bank, to Postpone Dissolution of Partnership in Visa ICC Rejected". Globes. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  35. ^ Dafna, Zucker (31 August 2004). "Discount Bank selling part of ICC-Cal to Azrieli". Globes. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  36. ^ Aflalo, Eti (18 March 2007). דיסקונט והבינלאומי ישלמו לפישמן ולהראל עוד 35 מ' ש' בתמורה לאחזקות כאל [Discount and First International will pay Fishman and Harel an additional NIS35m for Cal holdings]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 27 May 2012. בנק דיסקונט מחזיק כיום ב-71.8% מכאל, לאחר שרכש בתחילת החודש חלק מאחזקותיה של הראל השקעות בוויזה כאל תמורת 49 מיליון ולאחר שבקיץ 2006 רכש הבנק כ-17% ממניות ויזה כאל מקבוצת פישמן. 
  37. ^ Peer, Eran (7 February 2007). "Bank Hapoalim 63rd in world credit card issuer ranking". Globes. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  38. ^ "Group Overview: Senior Management". Israel Discount Bank. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  39. ^ "Group Overview: Board of Directors". Israel Discount Bank. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  40. ^ Feel the heartbeat of Old Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Post

External links[edit]