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Israel Discount Bank: 9 Facts About Tel Aviv Institution

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 03:15 PM

The Israel Discount Bank is one of the three largest private banks in Israel, and with global holdings, it also is a powerful financial institution around the world.

These nine facts about the bank and its holdings offer a brief glimpse into the history of the nearly 80-year-old institution.

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• Israel Discount Bank was founded in Tel Aviv in 1935 by Leon Yehuda Recanati and his partners, Moshe Carasso and Yosef Albo. At the time, it was called the Palestine Discount Bank and is today one of the 300 largest banks in the world.

• Over the years, the bank expanded its business to include credit card services, financial services, and other financial-related businesses. IBD Holdings was the investment arm of the business.

• The Israel Discount Bank opened operations in New York 1949, with a representative office, and then opened a branch in 1962. It was one of the first foreign banks to open a New York branch after banking laws changed to allow foreign branches.

• Up until 2003, Leon Yahuda Recanati’s descendants, two sons and two grandsons, continued to be active in controlling the bank. The two sons, Daniel and Raphael Recanati, both worked in the bank and IBD Holdings for many years.

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• Raphael Recanati and his son, Oudi Recanati, were convicted of manipulating bank shares in the 1980s. Leon Recanati, son of Daniel, was not implicated in the crimes because he wasn’t active in managing the bank, although he was involved with the holding company.

• After the convictions and wrongdoings at the bank, the Israel Discount Bank was nationalized. But the Recanatis and Carassos "bought back the controlling interest in IDB – without the bank – from the state in the early 1990s and later floated them on the stock exchange," Haaretz said. Raphael Recanati ran IDB Holdings and then passed the leadership role onto his son, Oudi Recanati. Finally, he bowed out and handed off management to Leon Recanati, who had always played second fiddle to his uncle Raphael and his cousin, Haaretz said.

• Despite starting other businesses, Leon Recanati continued to try to gain a foothold in the Israel Discount Bank businesses, including the consideration of a bid in 2001 to buy the IDB Bank of New York, according to The Street.

• Leon Recanati sold his shares of IDB Holdings in May 2003 to Nochi Dankner after he failed to put together a deal to completely buy out his cousin, Oudi Recanati, and others, Haaretz said.

• In 2006 and 2010, the Israeli government sold all but 20 percent of its holdings in the bank.

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The Israel Discount Bank is one of the three largest private banks in Israel, and with global holdings, it also is a powerful financial institution around the world.
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2014-15-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 03:15 PM
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