Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Israeli bank opens its doors to everyone – except Arabs

Haaretz 30 July by Sharon Shpurer — A startling conversation with a representative of Bank Mizrahi Tefahot in Kiryat Shmona sheds light on the obstacles faced by non-Jewish clientele . . . In early 2012 several Mizrahi call center reps referred Arabs looking to open an account to the branch in Kiryat Shmona. After a while the officer at the branch in charge of recruiting new clients – we’ll call her “L.” – phoned the call center with a request: Stop sending us Arab customers or you’ll receive a “negative denial.” What she meant was the referral of a client to a branch that didn’t result in an account being opened, something that would appear as a black mark on the rep’s record. L. knew that under Israeli law a client asking to open an account can’t be turned down, so she instructed phone reps to convince Arab callers to drop the idea
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