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The problem of transferring funds to bank accounts in Israel


Michael Decker

Transferring funds to banks in Israel that refuse to receive transfers from foreign accounts can be complex. This article discusses instances whereby Israelis were refused by the bank’s companies. These refusals may relate to transfers from foreign companies, family, partners, or any other party that is located abroad. It is important to know that it is possible to legally approve such financial transfers if you use the services of a lawyer with expertise in financial transactions.

The law firm of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh represents Israeli clients when banks refuse to approve transfers from abroad to local Israeli accounts. Our offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be glad to help you with the guidelines and the necessary assistance in managing this situation.

Transferring funds to banks in Israel and fear of money laundering charges

בעיית העברת כסף מחו''ל לבנק בישראלCriminal procedures and other procedures that have been taken against banking corporations in Israel and abroad in the past. Thus, and in accordance with the Bank of Israel’s directives on information transfer and money laundering, the banks have become very concerned with anything related to funds being transferred to Israel from abroad. A number of banks automatically reject wire transfers of funds from abroad. This rejection applies towards the client, their family or any other side to the transaction.

Difficulties in transferring money from abroad to a bank in Israel

Many Israelis wait, expecting to receive funds to their account through a wire transfer from abroad. Such transfers are often urgently needed by clients in Israel, who can find themselves fighting the banks to release their funds. Most of the situations related to transfer of funds from abroad to Israel refer to transactions or business deals with parties outside of Israel. However, sometimes family members abroad want to send money as a gift or as a loan to Israeli family members.

The banks make life difficult for clients by requiring certain documents. If the conditions for the specific transfer are not met, the bank will return the transferred sum to the account it was sent from. Therefore, many Israelis are forced to deal with these strict regulations, battling and at times even begging the bank clerks and managers to allow the transfer.

Conversely, the bank management is more fearful of allowing serious criminal offenses related to money laundering (and facing responsibility therefore) than of delaying or cancelling an urgent transfer. The banking corporations do not wish to risk themselves. This is generally out of a fear of the large fines and reputational damage that is involved with money laundering. Therefore, the risk of letting through possibly problematic transfers from abroad supersedes the well-being of Israeli clients.

As a result, a conflict arises between the bank and their clients. This can lead to Israelis waiting months for funds that are needed for business or private activity. When the funds arrive, there is the risk that they will be rejected and returned to the account they came from.

We can help you if a bank in Israel refuses to release funds that arrived from abroad

Israel’s manifold banking regulations often create problems for the banks’ clients. Our office, aware of these problems, uses the services of lawyers that are experts in banking regulations. We can help you, by taking the necessary actions to ensure that the transfer of money to Israel will be legal. We have the experience and expertise that allow us to represent you to the various legal departments of the banking and tax authorities. This being in order to enable you to legally transfer your funds to Israel.

We have dealt with numerous cases in which Israelis were refused services in the branches of the various banks in Israel – not allowing transfers of funds. The reasons for the denial of transfer are varied. In a number of cases it has been because of a lack of documents proving the funds had been properly accounted for in the country of residence.

What can be done if an Israeli bank rejects a transfer of funds from abroad?

It is not inconceivable that the bank will refuse to receive funds if they came directly from a foreign company’s account to a private account in Israel. As aforementioned, the bank may also reject transfers between spouses or family members. The main reason is due to a lack of documentation of the origin of the funds. You will need to attempt to satisfy the bank’s requirements. If the bank did not comply due to reasons that do not make sense, you must act based on legal procedures.

This is where we come into the picture. We have expertise in finding solutions to problems related to Israeli banks’ refusal to accept transfer of funds from abroad. We will know how to explain to the various banking corporations that your case should not be suspected of money laundering or other tax violations. We can demand immediate approval of the transfer of funds to your bank account in Israel. We know the regulations and the Bank of Israel’s directives and can therefore demand that the bank give you what is rightfully yours. This will help prevent embarrassing situations and potential future damage.

Under certain circumstances, in accordance with the legal framework, it is possible to force the bank’s hand through filing a motion in court, demanding that the bank approve the transfer of funds. We are sensitive to the situation and understand the stressful circumstances for our clients – waiting to receive funds from abroad. Our firm has a team of lawyers with the professional expertise to find legal solutions to these complicated situations.

Contact a lawyer with expertise in the law on transferring funds from abroad to Israel

Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh Law office has expertise in the various areas of law surrounding transfer of funds to Israel, whatever the reason for the transfer. If you have been mistreated by your bank, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Transferring Funds to Banks in Israel

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