Sustainability and Social Responsibility at Bank Hapoalim

Bank Hapoalim acts according to a deep commitment to advance sustainability and social responsibility. This commitment is demonstrated in the bank’s operations, its relationships with its customers and other stakeholders, and by its leading role in Israel’s business community.


At the end of 2006 all the bank's social initiatives and activities were united into a single framework, centrally managed and organized by the bank's CSR officer. This decision enabled the bank to position itself at the forefront of the world’s leading banks with sustainability and social responsibility initiatives and projects.


 During the years 2007-2016, numerous projects were developed in order to realize its objectives. The new activities were first undertaken as pilot projects, followed by the assimilation into the work methods and routine regulations, of the successful ones.


 In present times the bank’s sustainability and CSR program is focused on intensifying activities at the core of its business operations, initiating new activities in the domain, developing and enhancing the designated program's management and infrastructure and developing its liaisons with the CSR and sustainability network in Israel.

Adopting corporate social responsibility as a strategic approach and absorbing its values into the core of our business has provided significant achievements and strengthened the bank's position in the community. The most notable accomplishments of 2016 include expansion of activities aimed at:

  • promoting financial freedom for customers and for the general public;
  • promotion of financial freedom in the small-business sector in Israel through extensive financing, business and organizational consulting, targeted services for these businesses, and the creation of a marketing platform to raise awareness and exposure of small businesses, in dialogue and cooperation with various elements in the Israeli economy;
  • development of innovative banking solutions and services for financial freedom in the multi-channel banking universe (Internet, mobile, telephone), using the most advanced technological capabilities, which offer an optimal client experience and maximum availability, and enable private and business clients to manage many aspects of their financial lives at any time and from any place;
  • promotion of excellence in service, through an ongoing plan and a series of processes: creation of a supportive organizational culture, measurement and implementation in the core business processes of the bank, training and communication on service issues within the bank, and active learning through feedback;
  • an increase in the volume of credit granted through banking products in the area of sustainability that promotes the creation of economic value for customers and for the economy, alongside a contribution to the environment.
  • Promoting the financial freedom of "new seniors." The bank has led a strategic initiative, and shall continue to expand it in the coming years, aimed at promoting the financial freedom of "new seniors." This drive will encompass unique services, products, and benefits for the peri-retirement population, responding to their specific needs.


Also, in 2016 the bank continued to integrate social responsibility considerations into procurement processes, as part of the implementation of the long-term work plan.


 Investment in the community continued through educational projects and expansion of activities aimed at promoting financial freedom in the community, alongside the bank's extensive community donations and a further increase in the number of employees of the bank who volunteer.


The program’s success to date is the result of activities based on a clear and consistent methodological infrastructure, designed to obtain long-term results. Implementation of the sustainability and CSR program, in view of the founding principles, helped the bank reach significant achievements at all levels of activity.


As part of our efforts to extend transparency Bank Hapoalim has published seven CSR reports in Hebrew, for 2007 – 2016 according to most advanced reporting framework of the Global Reporting Initiative and awarded GRI:G3 and later on GRI:G3.1 A+ level, and GRI:G4 "in accordance – comprehensive". The 2009-2016 reports are available in English.

Bank Hapoalim is leading Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's (TASE) Maala index measuring and ranking ESG performance of Israeli public firms. It is worth noting that the bank has been continuously included in Maala's ranking since its launch in 2003 and has consistently been a member of the highest class – Platinum +. The ratings assigned by Maala for 2017 are based on the reported data for 2016 in which Bank Hapoalim was ranked at the top of the Platinum Plus class. The bank's commitment to sustainability and CSR values has also earned international recognition. In 2011, the bank was added to the FTSE4good index, a leading international index of the implementation of sustainability values. The bank has been included in the global FTSE4Good index continuously since 2011. The index measures the sustainability and CSR performance of leading business firms around the world. Bank Hapoalim is listed alongside 70 advanced banks, of the thousands of banks operating worldwide.


The bank was ranked first in the Israeli banking industry by Kaima Research
 In 2016, a first CSR review of its kind - focusing on the local banking sector - was conducted by Kaima Research. In the final analysis, Poalim was ranked first among Israel’s seven major banks. The purpose of the rating was to assess and quantify the risks and opportunities by examining Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) aspects and the quality of managing these risks by the banks. The review included five key areas: (1) Customers, society and community; (2) Employees; (3) Corporate governance; (4) The environment; (5) Sustainability management and innovation. The rating reflects the bank’s ability to meet and minimize its CSR risks, as well as its ability to realize the potential in various opportunities in this field.
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