Israel Discount Bank of New York


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Israel Discount Bank Ltd. (Hebrew: ??? ??????? ?????? ??"???) is one of Israels three largest banks, with 260 branches, around 5,700 staff, and assets of ?185 billion (US$48 billion). Israel Discount Bank, formerly known as Eretz Yisrael Discount Bank or Palestine Discount Bank, was founded on 5 April 1935 by Leon Recanati, a new immigrant from Greece who had been the head of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki. His partners were Moshe Carasso and Yosef Albo. The bank operated in a store at 39 Yehuda Halevi St. in Tel Aviv. It was founded with a focus on foreign trade and with a deliberate Sephardic orientation so as to fill what Recanati perceived as a Sephardic void in the banking industry. Discount was unique in that it was open to private customers, whereas most other banks in Palestine at the time catered to merchants and institutions. Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Ottoman Bank, one of five large foreign banks active at the time, was merged into Discount Bank. Discount became Israels second largest bank in 1952, with over 40 branches throughout the country. It retained that position until the merger of Bank Hapoalim with the credit and saving funds of the Histadrut in 1957. Discount opened its first commercial bank in the United States in 1962 in the form of Israel Discount Bank of New York, or IDB Bank. In 1965 Discount Bank was still described as a "bastion of the veteran Sephardic establishment."