As a business leader, Bank Hapoalim has the responsibility to promote equal economic opportunities in Israeli society and economic sustainability among its customers. The bank welcomes this duty, and believes in its mission to contribute to the empowerment of the society from which it draws its strength. Every person has different economic needs, according to the milestones in his or her life, and different financial resources available to meet those needs. In order to cope with such needs appropriately in the short and long term, it is necessary to obtain a solid understanding of the full range of financial needs and possibilities, become familiar with the tools and products offered in this area, and achieve optimized matching in order to eventually attain good control and balance between needs and possibilities. Proper identification of needs, full information regarding financial possibilities, tools, and supporting products, use of advice, and appropriate prioritization make it possible to reach good decisions for each time frame and maximize financial potential.
Bank Hapoalim acts strategically to promote prudent financial conduct among its customers and in the Israeli public. This effort is congruent with the trends identified by the bank in recent years in customers’ needs and wishes, indicating a greater demand for more extensive financial knowledge in recent years. The bank recognizes that financial knowledge and the use of financial tools are essential in order to create financial freedom and strike a balance between financial needs and abilities, for each customer. The bank therefore endeavors to provide information regarding the financial possibilities available to its customers at high resolution and transparency, with maximum availability, matched to different life stages. A wide range of tools, products, services, knowledge, and guidance by the bank are offered in order to ensure that customers are familiar with the full picture and with all of the alternatives open to them, in order to reach prudent, independent decisions. The bank promotes financial freedom in several areas of its activity, for various stakeholders: by providing financial information, raising awareness, and promoting financial knowledge for customers, employees, and the community; promoting the growth of different segments and groups in Israel, such as small businesses, the Arab-Israeli sector, and the Haredi sector; multi-channel banking services via telephone, Internet, mobile, tablet, etc., offering customers tools and products for sensible financial conduct; and increased physical and virtual access to banking services. On this foundation, customers' relationships with financial institutions become more balanced and more aligned with their expectations, and they become able to make better economic decisions for each stage of their lives.
As part of the dialogue conducted by the bank with additional organizations and groups for the promotion of this area, in 2014 the bank initiated the launch of the Israel Financial Freedom Forum. The forum unites many participants from the government, community, and business sectors seeking a shared platform for conversation, identification of opportunities, and initiation of ventures for the promotion of financial education in Israel. The forum will enable different stakeholders to join forces in order to consult, discuss, and think about solutions in this area.
The bank promotes financial freedom in five areas:
- Financial information – Highly detailed and extensive information is available to the bank's customers, through every channel and at all times, regarding their financial assets, liabilities, transactions, and more. This information helps customers to be aware of their financial condition and of the options available to them; it serves as the infrastructure for control, consultation, and prudent life decisions in this area;
- Products and tools to promote financial freedom – Over the last few years, the bank has developed a series of products and tools designed to help its customers make prudent financial decisions. These tools enable customers to understand and analyze information, and to obtain control and flexibility in managing accounts and family budgets and in creating long-term savings. The tools are accessible through innovative digital channels, so that they can be used at any time and place;
- Personalized consulting and service – The bank offers its customers consultation and service individually tailored to the customer or business, in various financial areas. The customization is based on familiarity with the customer's individual needs, a comprehensive and broad financial status snapshot, proposal of effective solutions and alternatives in response to the customer's needs, and guidance according to the required services;
- Financial education and literacy – As part of the promotion of financial freedom for its customers and for the general public, the bank has initiated efforts designed for a range of target audiences (children and adolescents, young adults, households, and seniors), according to life stage, aimed at raising awareness and enhancing financial education. Taking the drive to instill financial freedom to the next level, several initiatives of the bank encourage changes in behavior and in financial habits for its target audiences, effectively promoting financial literacy;
- Promotion of financial freedom for small businesses – The bank works to empower and promote the financial freedom of its customers in the small-business sector by developing financial tools and knowledge adapted to their unique needs. The bank's numerous initiatives in this arena create value for businesses in three main areas: credit, expert consultation and service tailored to this sector, and the creation of marketing platforms for businesses.