Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) is accepting the argument that a customer's information belongs to him. Sources inform "Globes" that the bank, managed by CEO Arik Pinto, has decided to cancel its charges for obtaining information. Revenue from these charges amounts to NIS 30 million a year, a negligible total, compared with the bank's total fees of NIS 5.22 billion last year.
The fees are for production of documents, locating a document, and issuing reports, such as clearance reports, for example. The fees in question are NIS 10-18 per request, plus NIS 0.50 per page.
The decision to cancel the fees follows the Bank of Israel's request to scan the fees that they charge, and change or eliminate unnecessary fees. In addition, Bank Hapoalim was also in touch with the social Lobby 99 organization, which gave the bank a list of fees that appear unnecessary. The bank agreed with the request to eliminate charges involving the receiving of information.
The elimination of information charges indicates that Bank Hapoalim has realized that the information belongs to the customer, and that there is no justification for charging the customer for obtaining information concerning him. There was formerly some justification for this fee when the information was kept manually, and production of reports sometimes involved work with the archives and assigning employees to this purpose.
Work methods have changed since then. All the data is computerized, and the bank has no cost in producing various reports for customers. Similar fees are also charged at other banks. The decision by Israel's largest bank to cancel them is likely to lead its competitors to follow suit by canceling their information charges.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on October 1, 2017
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