The Nielsen Report ranks Bank Hapoalim (LSE: BKHD; TASE: POLI) 63rd in credit card issuing in the world in 2005. Purchases made with Bank Hapoalim-issued credit cards totaled $9.1 billion in 2005.
Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) was in 77th place, with $7.6 billion in purchases made with its credit cards. Israel Credit Cards-Cal Ltd. (ICC-Cal) (Visa), which is jointly owned by Bank Leumi and Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT), is in 82nd place, with $7.2 billion in purchases.
The Nielsen Report says that Bank Hapoalim has issued 1.51 million credit cards, Bank Leumi - 1.21 million, and ICC-Cal - 1 million. The world’s largest issuer of credit cards is Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), with $311 billion in credit card purchases; followed by JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), with $291 billion; and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), with $206 billion; Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), with $92 billion
Barclays Bank plc (NYSE: BCS; LSE; XETRA: BARC), the top British bank on the list, is in fifth place with $91 billion in credit card purchases; and followed by France’s Credit Agricole SA (LSE:CDA; Paris:ACA), with $81 billion. BNP Paribas (NYSE; Paris:BNP), which launched full banking activity in Israel this week, is in 26th place, with $25 billion in credit card purchases.
Israel’s credit card market has grown by a steady 10% a year in recent years. The market totaled NIS 118.1 billion in 2005, up from NIS 107.5 billion in 2004, and NIS 97.4 billion in 2003. The Bank of Israel unofficially estimates the market at NIS 130 billion in 2006. At the present growth rate, the market will reach NIS 190 billion by 2010.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 7, 2007
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