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10.01.2011
 
Banking Supervision Department: Since Onset of Reform, Charges for Common current account Services and Credit Cards Have Fallen Considerably
 
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  In the past two years, the average charge for common current account services has fallen by 13 percent on average in real terms and the cost of holding a credit card has fallen by more than 20 percent. All five large banks and the credit-card companies are included in the downward trend.
  There are large differences among banks and credit-card companies:
  Bank Yahav is the least expensive bank for common demand-account services, by a wide margin. Among the five large banks, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Leumi are the least expensive in common demand-account services, and First International Bank is the most expensive.
  In the average cost of holding a credit card (domestic, international, and gold), Isracard is the least expensive and ICC is the most expensive.
  The banks are competing more vigorously for household customers:
  The banks are offering new and existing customers a full or partial exemption from charges in various promotional campaigns.
  Customers who belong to special population groups such as soldiers, students, etc., are given exemptions or large discounts on common banking services.
  Even customers who do not belong to population groups that are entitled to an exemption or discounts are receiving significant discounts.
  The Bank of Israel urges the public to check the terms that different banks offer and look into the possibility of obtaining discounts on charges. The Bank of Israel provides consumers with a calculator and comparison tables at http://www.boi.gov.il/deptdata/pikuah/amalot/amalot.htm.
  The Bank of Israel is acting to make it easier to change banks; recently it launched an information program on the topic. For a manual on how to change banks, useful advice, and answers to FAQs, visit the home page of the Bank of Israel Web site.