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In the Last 3 weeks, at least $4 billion Transferred from Israel to foreign banks

The Bank of Israel claims “no unexpected movements” out of fear that reporting will encourage citizens to transfer more.

Transferred from Israel to foreign banks
Transferred from Israel to foreign banks: Pro-Democracy demonstration in Jerusalem February 2023 – Photo Hi-tech protestors/ Twitter

Following the attempt to crash the Israeli democracy by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government, in the past three weeks, approximately $4 billion has been transferred from Israel to foreign banks.

Around 50 high-tech companies and private investors transferred nearly half the amount. Some have recently opened new accounts in the United States and Europe. In addition, a decision was made to cease transfers to Israel of $2.2 billion from operations overseas, when such funds had been entering the country until today.

The Bank of Israel refused to provide data, even though the information accumulated in the bank on money transfers from Israel abroad is immediate. The bank fears that reporting a large amount of money transferred from Israel abroad will encourage citizens to transfer more. The Bank claimed today (Wednesday) this is because “so far, there are no unexpected movements of funds transferred abroad, and the bank is constantly monitoring the situation.”

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We expect this trend to only increase in the coming days,” Ofir Angel, chairman of the consulting firm Auren Israel, told Ynet today.

“The new trend that has emerged in recent days,” Angel added, “is precisely that of private households, families with capital, mainly from the top 1,000, who have started mobile money, and those with smaller capital from the top decile and below.”

Middle-income customers with liquid assets between $5 million and $50 million are looking into buying foreign citizenship by purchasing properties in attractive countries and transferring the liquid funds to those countries to increase their investment possibilities and spread risk.

The withdrawal of funds and conversion of shekels to dollars occur concurrently with the continuous increase in the dollar exchange rate. Since the last week of January, this exchange rate has gained nearly 7% in relation to the shekel, while the euro has gained 5%. Analysts think the shekel will continue to lose value in the coming days if the Knesset keeps trying to change the law.

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