The Banking Supervision Department imposes a financial sanction on Bank Hapoalim for not rectifying a deficiency in accordance with the Banking Supervision Department’s directives regarding sending checks via Israel Post
The Banking Supervision Department required of the bank that in a case of a lost checkbook that was sent via mail, Bank Hapoalim is to take the responsibility and negative impact on itself, and not impose them on the customers.
An enquiry received at the Banking Supervision Department’s Public Enquiries Unit indicated that on a form for signing up for the service of sending checkbooks via Israel Post, Bank Hapoalim placed the responsibility on the customer for the full adverse impact that is liable to be caused to the customer as a result of using the service. The customer was asked to authorize, among other things, that the responsibility for any outcome, adverse impact, or payments liable to be caused as a result of sending the checks would be on the customer, and that the bank shall not bear responsibility for any negative impact or loss that will be caused due to sending the checks by mail and the abuse of the checks.
On August 12, 2018, the Banking Supervision Department sent the bank a stance on “Deficiencies in the service of sending checkbooks to customers via Israel Post”. According to it, the bank is required to immediately amend all the documents imposing responsibility on the customer and to clarify on them that the bank shall bear the full negative impact that will be caused to the customer in a case in which the checks reach a third party. An examination carried out on November 28, 2018 through an attempt to order checkbooks on the bank’s website indicated that the bank had not amended the documents as required, and that the responsibility for any outcome and negative impact in respect of using the service, as described on the bank’s documents, is imposed on the customer.
The sanction totaling NIS 385,000 was imposed on Bank Hapoalim due to failure to correct a deficiency in line with the directives of the Banking Supervision Department that were issued in accordance with Section 16(b) of the Banking (Service to the Customer) Law, 5741-1981.
Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber said, “The Banking Supervision Department attributes considerable importance to the fairness of the relationship between banks and their customers. Imposing the full responsibility on the customer when sending checkbooks by mail, even under circumstances over which the customer has no control, while granting the bank full exemption from responsibility, is not acceptable to us.”
A customer who used the service of sending checkbooks by mail, and the checkbook did not reach its destination, and the customer sees himself as negatively impacted, is welcome to contact the Ombudsman at Bank Hapoalim about the issue. If the customer’s enquiry does not receive a response that is satisfactory to the customer, the customer may contact the Public Enquiries Unit at the Banking Supervision Department. The contact with the Unit has no cost and there is no need for representation.