Every account must be opened at one of the branches of the bank, in the presence of the customer (or someone with power of attorney from the customer). A banker conducts an introductory face-to-face session with the potential customer, in order to determine the type of account and the banking products that are suitable for the customer and the purpose of the account.
Account opening procedures at the bank include several methodological steps encompassing customer identification and verification; a mandatory KYC questionnaire (with additional questions for specific categories of customers); in certain circumstances, supporting references regarding the customer's source of funds, in general, and specifically the funds that will be deposited or transferred to the account; receiving a declaration of beneficiaries and controlling persons (for entities); checking the customer’s name against various sanction lists (OFAC, EU, UN, and Israeli); receiving self-certification for FATCA and CRS purposes (on a Hebrew form or relevant W-8 Form for Israeli individuals and entities, and on the relevant W-8 Form for foreign customers); and comparing the KYC information with the self-certification (the comparison is performed by the bankers for some of the information, and by IT systems for other parts of the information). While methodologically separate, these steps form an integrative process.
The banker asks the customer to provide specific documentary evidence to verify their identity: for individuals, an Israeli identity card in the case of an Israeli resident, or a passport and another formal supporting document in the case of a non-resident; for entities, a certificate of incorporation, extracts from the Israeli Companies Registrar or official company register in another country, a copy of articles of incorporation or association, or other organizational documents. Non-Israeli entities are required, in addition, to supply a Letter of Good Standing from an attorney from the entity’s jurisdiction, and to translate all required documents into Hebrew or English. All corporations are required to present a resolution by the board of directors to open an account with the bank.
Under the bank's policies and procedures, the banker is required to understand who the ultimate beneficial owners or the ultimate controlling persons are in every account that is an entity rather than a natural person, to receive a declaration of beneficial owners and controlling persons, and to confirm their identity.