Israel Discount Bank


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. is a retail bank, commercial bank, private bank and financial services company headquartered in Tel Aviv with 112 branches throughout Israel.[3]

Israel Discount Bank, Ltd.[1]
Native name
בנק דיסקונט לישראל בע"מ
Financial services
FoundedTel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine
5 April 1935; 87 years ago (1935-04-05)
Key people
Shaul Kobrinsky
Uri Levin
ProductsCredit cards, consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, Securities, asset management, wealth management
ServicesFinancial services
RevenueIncrease 9.02 billion (2018)
Increase 1.5 billion (2018)
Total assetsIncrease 239.1 billion (2018)
Total equityIncrease 17.1 billion (2018)

Discount Bank is a public company traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange under the symbol DSCT.[4] It provides personal banking, business banking and private banking products and services through physical branches, online banking and mobile banking.


Discount Bank was established on 5 April 1935, as Eretz Yisrael Discount Bank Ltd., by Leon Recanati and his partners, Yosef Albo and Moshe Carasso.[5][6][7][8][9] In its early days, Discount Bank operated out of a small hotel on Nachlat Binyamin Street in Tel Aviv. It later moved to its permanent location at 39 Yehuda Halevi Street. Today, Discount Bank's headquarters are located at the Discount Bank Tower, a 30-story skyscraper located at 23 Yehuda HaLevi Street in Tel Aviv, which completed construction in 2006.

Discount Bank derives its name from the word "disconto", discount of bills.[10] Discount Bank began its operations at a time of relative economic prosperity due to foreign capital that was brought into the country by members of the Fifth Aliyah in 1935, and grew significantly in its initial years of operation.

Economic growth ground to a halt with the outbreak of the Arab Revolt in 1936, and the economic situation grew even more dire three years later, with the outbreak of World War II. Despite the deterioration of the economy during those years, Discount Bank managed to increase its profit, especially thanks to its contribution to the Yishuv by extending loans with good terms as a response to the difficult legislation by the British Mandate, which limited the withdrawal of deposits due to the fear of economic collapse.[11] Alongside its financial activity, the bank contributed to the strength of the Yishuv through the establishment of Kadima, an organization that granted scholarships, opened an assistance center for the needy and, in conjunction with the Jewish Agency for Israel, helped establish agricultural settlements for immigrants from Arab countries.[12]

In 1944, Discount Bank acquired the Haifa-based Mercantile Bank[13] and several years later also acquired the local operations of the Ottoman Bank,[14] Barclays Bank and Hollandsche Bank-Unie.[15][16]

In 1945, Recanati passed away and management moved to his sons.[17] Uri Levin was named CEO of Discount Bank in July 2019 and has served in this position since December 2019[18][19]


In the 1950s, Discount Bank opened additional branches in Europe. It began investing in Israeli companies through the Israeli Company for Financing and Investment, which it had acquired. In those years, thanks to the bank's accelerated opening of branches around Israel and extension of its opening hours to the afternoon, the bank grew to become the second largest bank in Israel.[20][21] At the beginning of the 1960s, the bank expanded its activity both in Israel and overseas. In 1961, for the first time in the banking industry, the investment company, Discount Investments, was founded. What's more, the bank was awarded the right to issue Diners Club credit cards[22] and was the first bank to offer its shares to the public. In 1964, the bank was awarded the Kaplan Prize for being the first bank to computerize its operations.

In the 1970s, the bank continued its momentum of growth and expansion, integration of advanced technologies and modern computer systems and improvement of customer service. In 1970, the bank acquired 50% of Barclays Bank and the name of the bank changed to Barclays-Discount. It later acquired full ownership.[23] Additionally, Mercantile Bank was sold to Barclays-Discount Bank.[13]

In 1974, the Discountomat, Israel's first ATM was launched.[24] In 1979, Visa Cal was founded in partnership with Bank Leumi.[25][10]

In 1981, the bank's virtual branch, Discount Telebank was established, making it the first banking call center in Israel and in the world.[26] The same year, the bank also began operating its Bankonit - a mobile bank that operated for several years in the Lachish region.[24] In 1983, "satellites" were opened for the first time in Israel, enabling customers to conduct banking transactions independently, outside of standard work hours. That same year, the bank - along with other banks - was nationalized by the Israeli government, due to the bank stock crisis.[27]

Following the 1983 Israel bank stock crisis, the bank's ownership was transferred to the government of Israel.[28]

In 1987, the Discount Group established the investment organization, Tachlit Investment House, which was engaged, among other things, in the sale of financial products, investment portfolio management and more.[29]

In the first decade of the 21st century, activity centered around privatization of the bank and the sale of the government's holdings in it. In 2004, the process of privatizing the bank began,[30] and this was completed in 2006, with the acquisition of 26% of the bank's shares by the Bronfman-Sharan Group.[31][32] That same year, shares were also sold to Deutsche Bank.[33] In 2010, the government sold the balance of its holdings in the bank.[34]

In 2010, Mafteach Discount (Discount Key) was launched, offering benefits and discounts to credit cardholders, while combining an opportunity to makes small but regular deposits into a savings account with each purchase.[35]

In 2012, the bank was forced to sell Tachlit ETNs to Dash Investment House, after the Supervisor of the Banks ordered it to sell its holdings in the company (20%) by 2013.[36]

Digital Banking & FintechEdit

Discount Bank has gained media attention for its focus on digital banking and fintech partnerships. In 2017, Discount Bank signed agreements with several fintechs, including Icount and PayBox,[37] to improve payment services and open banking abilities.

Of note, Discount Bank's creation of an artificial intelligence-driven digital assistant occurred through the successful partnership with Personetics Technologies.[38] The AI, called Didi, was the first of its kind for Israel's banking industry.[39]

In 2019, Discount Bank launched Business+, a mobile banking app for business banking customers that earned several awards, including the EMEA Gartner Eye on Innovation 2018,[40] the 2017[41] and 2018[42] IT Awards by People and Computers.


  • Israel Credit Cards, Ltd. (CAL): Israel's leading issuer of credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard. Discount Bank has a 72% ownership stake.[43]
  • Discount Capital: As Discount Bank's investment banking arm, Discount Capital managed a 1.2 billion portfolio as of 2019. It invests directly in companies and business ventures, as well as in investment funds and mezzanine investments.[44]
  • Tafnit Discount Asset Management: Asset management of investment portfolios for private clients, private and public companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies.[45]
  • IDB Bank: an American multinational private bank, commercial bank and financial services company headquartered in New York City with locations in the United States, Latin America and Israel.


In 2021, IDB and its subsidiary Mercantile Discount Bank reached a settlement of ₪343 million (A$137 million) with the Australian Tax Office (ATO), after allegedly conspiring with the Sydney-based Binetter family to engage in tax fraud. The banks reportedly allowed the family to route "back-to-back" loans through their accounts, "in effect lending their own money and paying interest to themselves", in exchange for a percentage of the balance. The family then fraudulently claimed the interest expense as a tax deduction, with a bank executive giving false sworn evidence that the transactions were at arm's length. The bank "made no admission of culpability in the settlement agreement" but stated it would appoint a former judge to conduct an independent inquiry into the matter.[46]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "General Information - Discount Bank". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  2. ^ Grunfeld, Micky (15 July 2019). "Israel's Discount Bank Selects Uri Levin as New CEO". CTech. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Branch Locator - Discount Bank". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Discount Bank - TASE". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Sharoni, Yehuda (28 April 2009). "A journey in the wake of the nobility: Haim Carasso has something to tell the new rich" מסע בעקבות אצולת הממון: לחיים קרסו יש מה להגיד לעשירים החדשים. Ynet (in Hebrew).
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Aharonovich, Esti (27 October 2004). "The Patriarch" [he: הפטריארך]. Haaretz (in Hebrew).
  9. ^ Lori, Aviva (20 August 2004). "Sour Grapes". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Everything stays in the family" [he: הכל נשאר במשפחה]. Superbrands (in Hebrew). 15 November 2015.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Recanati, Harry (1984). Recanati father and son [he: רקנאטי אב ובנו] (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Cana.
  13. ^ a b Lavi, Zvi (16 August 2011). "Barclays in Israel: The British Mandate symbol returns to Israel" [he: ברקליס בישראל: סמל המנדט הבריטי חוזר לארץ]. Ynet (in Hebrew).
  14. ^ Lavi, Zvi (19 January 2005). "Arabic names included in appendix of Holocaust victims' deposits report". Globes. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Note on Currency and Banking in Palestine and Transjordan". United Nations. 18 July 1949. Archived from the original on 10 September 2013. 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.
  16. ^ Heroism: Breakthrough for 80 years [he: גבורות: פורצים דרך כבר 80 שנה] (in Hebrew). Discount Bank. 2016.
  17. ^ "The late L. Yehuda Recanati" [he: ל. יהודה רקנאטי ז"ל]. HaTzofe (in Hebrew). 1945.
  18. ^ "Discount Bank names Uri Levin as new CEO". Reuters. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  19. ^ "IDB Bank CEO Selected To Lead Parent Bank in Israel". Jewish Voice. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "Buying of Diners certificates is expanding" [he: מתרחבת הקנייה בתעודות דיינרס]. Maariv (in Hebrew). 5 November 1968.
  23. ^ Recht, Danny. "Barclays Bank (Mercantile Discount Bank)" [he: (ברקליס בנק (בנק מרכנתיל דיסקונט]. Tel Aviv 100, The Urban Encyclopedia (in Hebrew).
  24. ^ a b Rosenberg, Elizaphan (9 May 2019). "Savings here: Mobile banks, ATMs and apps - 71 years of banking in Israel" [he: כאן חוסכים: בנקים ניידים, כספומטים ואפליקציות - 71 שנות בנקאות בישראל]. Ynet (in Hebrew).
  25. ^ "About CAL" [he: אודות כאל]. CAL-Online (in Hebrew).
  26. ^ Meltz, Judy (13 September 1999). "Irit Berger (Banking): Never repeat the same thing" [he: עירית ברגר(בנקאות): אף פעם לא לחזור על אותו דבר]. Globes (in Hebrew).
  27. ^ Kurz, Amir (19 April 2018). "Arie Mintkiewicz returns to the banking stock crisis: "Yefet said: Do you want to take my tie ?!"" [he: אריה מינטקביץ חוזר למשבר מניות הבנקים: "יפת אמר: אתם רוצים לקחת לי את העניבה?!"]. Calcalist (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 19 April 2018.
  28. ^ Levin, Elazar (31 May 1999). "Mister Raphael". Globes. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Tachlit investment house" [he: תכלית בית השקעות]. bankinfo (in Hebrew).
  30. ^ Barzilai, Tamar (11 March 2004). "Discount Bank privatization is underway" [he: ההפרטה של בנק דיסקונט יוצאת לדרך]. Ynet (in Hebrew).
  31. ^ "Discount Bank privatization is complete" [he: הפרטת בנק דיסקונט הושלמה]. Walla! (in Hebrew). 1 February 2006.
  32. ^ Golovinsky, Shlomi (12 January 2005). "Nocturnal negotiations between the state and the Bronfman Group on the sale of Discount Bank" [he: משא ומתן לילי בין המדינה לקבוצת ברונפמן על מכירת בנק דיסקונט]. Haaretz (in Hebrew).
  33. ^ Shimoni, Eli; Efrati, Ido (11 May 2006). "Selling Discount shares to Deutsche Bank was completed" [he: הושלמה מכירת מניות דיסקונט לדויטשה בנק]. Ynet (in Hebrew).
  34. ^ "Privatization is complete: Discount is out of state ownership" [he: ההפרטה הושלמה: דיסקונט יצא מרשות המדינה]. Walla! (in Hebrew). 27 October 2010.
  35. ^ Aflalo, Eti (13 July 2010). "100,000 "Discount Key" savings plans opened in about a month" [he: 100 אלף תוכניות חיסכון "מפתח דיסקונט" נפתחו בתוך כחודש]. Haaretz (in Hebrew).
  36. ^ Bindman, Racheli (30 June 2010). "Exclusive to "Calcalist": Dash-Apex grabsTaclit from Migdal's hands" [he: בלעדי ל"כלכליסט": דש אייפקס חוטפת למגדל את תכלית מבין הידיים]. Calcalist (in Hebrew).
  37. ^ Business-technology cooperation: Discount signed a collaboration agreement with iCount that provides digital solutions for managing small and medium businesses, Press Release (in Hebrew) 15 August 2015
  38. ^ "Discount Bank digital assistant gives customers personalised guidance". Finextra. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  39. ^ Maayan, Hoffman (7 December 2017). "The future of smart banking". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  40. ^ "Gartner Announces Winners of the 2018 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award, EMEA". Gartner. 5 November 2018.
  41. ^ Hatony, Yossi (4 March 2018). "Discount Bank - Champion of Champions in Computing Excellence" [he: בנק דיסקונט – אלוף האלופים בתחרות מצטייני המחשוב]. PC (in Hebrew).
  42. ^ Hatony, Yossi (14 February 2019). "Who are the champions of champions of 2018?" [he: מיהם אלופי האלופים של 2018?]. PC (in Hebrew).
  43. ^ "About Us - CAL". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  44. ^ "Discount Capital - About Us". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  45. ^ "Tafnit Discount". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  46. ^ Chenoweth, Neil (1 February 2021). "ATO wins $137m from Binetters' Israeli banks after 16-year pursuit". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 29 July 2021.

External linksEdit

  • Discount Bank official website