War on Money Laundering: Foreign Deposits in Israeli Banks Have Shrunk by Nearly $30 Billion

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September 4 2018

The heavy pressure brought to bear by the United States on financial institutions worldwide in its fight against money laundering has changed world banking over the last decade. Discrete tax shelters for wealthy clients who made their fortunes in an ambiguous manner have been required to police their clients and collaborate with the tax authorities, and in fact be agents of change when it comes to undeclared capital worldwide.

But that’s not the only change. A look at the deposit files of Israeli banks in Israel and their branches abroad shows that the extent of deposits by foreigners has shrunk by 100 billion shekels in a decade. In 2007, foreigners deposited 201 billion shekels in Israeli banks and their branches abroad, and at the end of 2017, that figure had shrunk to 102 billion shekels. In terms of percentages, deposits by foreigners had shrunk from 26 percent to a mere 7 percent. The sharp decline was by foreign deposits in banks in Israel, which plummeted from 89 billion shekels to 28 billion.