Bank Hapoalim will refund NIS 7 million to customers due to overcharging the fee for sending registered letters

The Banking Supervision Department’s Public Enquiries Unit received a complaint from a Bank Hapoalim customer that resulted in an investigation regarding an overcharge of the fee for registered mail.  A broad examination by the Banking Supervision Department showed that the bank had charge customer accounts the sum of NIS 11.80 for each letter sent to them by registered mail, while due to a quantity discount, the bank was actually charged only NIS 6.90 by Israel Post.

 

Following the Banking Supervision Department’s intervention, the bank corrected its fee for registered letters in its fee schedule. In addition, the bank is currently working to credit customer accounts that were overcharged, by a total of about NIS 7 million.  The refund to customers reflects to difference between the full rate charged to customers and the price the bank was charged after the discount, in respect of the excess charge over the past seven years.

 

The Banking Supervision Department referred the bank to the directive set out in the Banking Rules (Fees)[1], which states that charges for third party expenses—in this case expenses for sending registered letters through Israel Post—must reflect the actual expenses imposed on the bank.  This directive is applicable in this case, where at the time the letters were sent, it had not yet been determined whether the bank would receive the discount from Israel Post, and the discount was given only at the end of the period, after the number of letters entitling the bank to the discount was considered.

 

Supervisor of Banks Yair Avidan said, “The Banking Supervision Department attributes tremendous importance to fairness in relations between the banks and their customers.  A main tool in advancing fairness in the banking system is the discovery and handling of broad deficiencies uncovered in individual complaints received from the public.  The Banking Supervision Department will continue working diligently to enforce the directives in the area of bank-customer relations, including in cases where there is an overcharge of fees.”

 

As part of increasing transparency toward the public, the Banking Supervision Department is expanding the information published on the Bank of Israel’s website in the area of consumer enforcement.  Regular updates on additional supervisory measures taken toward supervised corporations, including demands for the return of money to groups of customers, will be published on an on-going basis on a dedicated page of the Bank of Israel’s website.



[1] Section 11 of the First Addendum to the Banking Rules (Service to the Customer)(Fees), 5768–2008.  Regarding this Section, see also the Supervisor of Banks Letter to the Banking System dated February 16, 2022 on “Disclosure of the Cost of Service—Section 11 of the Full Fee Schedule”.​