Banking Supervision Department guidelines to the banking system

Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber: “Starting tomorrow, face-to-face banking service to the public will be provided at designated branches across the country.  At these branches, it will be possible to make essential transactions that cannot be made through direct banking means.  Customers aged 70 and over will be given adapted and expanded service.  Automatic teller machines will continue to operate as normal.  We are taking this measure following instructions from the Ministry of Health to reduce activity and movement in the public space.  The measure will enable continuity in the provision of banking services to the broad public, while maintaining the health of the public and of bank employees.  I call on the public to make all banking transactions through direct means: by phone, ATMs, banking applications, and bank websites.”

 

Following Ministry of Health instructions to reduce activity and movement in the public space, and with the desire to enable continuity in the provision of banking services to the broad public while maintaining the health of the public and of bank employees, the Supervisor of Banks instructs as follows:

 

Face-to-face service at core branches

 

1.      Banks are permitted to reduce public reception services to designated branches only.  At other branches, work without public reception will be enabled.

2.      In general, when determining which branches will be designated to provide service with public reception, the banks will operate according to a list of core branches that it set out as part of Proper Conduct of Banking Business Directive 355 on “Business Continuity”.  However, in accordance with the circumstances, the bank may consider changes to the list, while maintaining the proper geographic spread and other relevant considerations for this time (branch size, the presence of cash, and more).

3.      In general, at least 25 percent of the bank’s branches must be designated as core branches where service will be provided to the public.

4.      In order to reduce the risk of infection, it is proposed that the bank implement a mechanism to regulate public crowding at the core branches, including: requiring its customers to set an appointment in advance, placing a security station at the entrance to the branch, and more, taking the instructions of the competent authorities into account.

5.      The core branches will provide service to all customers of the bank.

6.      The bank shall public the list of branches at which service will be provided to customers on its website and through other means it shall choose.

 

Remote banking services

 

7.      The banks shall consider actions to encourage their customers to transition to receiving services through digital means and to avoid coming to the branch, other than in special circumstances.

8.      The banks shall continue making the necessary preparations for expanding remote working while managing the inherent risks.

 

The Banking Supervision Department will continue updating instructions as necessary and in accordance with instructions published by the government.

 

These guidelines shall apply from tomorrow, March 17, 2020.

 

The list of core branches will be published later today on the Bank of Israel’s website and on the banks’ websites.​​​​​​​​