Israel’s digital bank sees start in mid-2021, signs deal with India’s TATA group
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Israel’s digital bank sees start in mid-2021, signs deal with India’s TATA group

Entrepreneurs Marius Nacht and Amnon Shashua, controlling shareholders of new bank, seek to raise funds needed for equity requirements from local, foreign investors

Amnon Shashua, Marius Nacht, get a letter from Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron and Supervisor of Banks Hedva Ber, saying they will get license to set up a digital bank in Israel.(Courtesy)
Amnon Shashua, Marius Nacht, get a letter from Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron and Supervisor of Banks Hedva Ber, saying they will get license to set up a digital bank in Israel.(Courtesy)

Israel’s new digital bank, controlled by entrepreneurs Marius Nacht and Amnon Shashua, is expected to start providing services to customers in mid-2021, the bank said Sunday, while informing regulators it has finalized a contract with an Indian group to set up and implement its technological infrastructure.

The digital bank informed the Finance Ministry and Bank of Israel at the end of the week that it had signed a deal with TCS, an international IT firm and a member of India’s TATA Group, for the development and implementation of the bank’s technology infrastructure. The digital bank will be using the core infrastructure developed by TCS.

TCS has 450,000 employees in 46 countries, and it serves over 300 financial institutions around the globe.

The project will begin in the coming weeks and “will involve hundreds of software programmers and developers in Israel and overseas,” the bank, still without a name, said in a statement.

In September, the Bank of Israel gave a nod of approval for the establishment of a new bank — Israel’s first in some 40 years — led by Nacht, co-founder of Israel’s largest cybersecurity firm, and Shashua, of automotive chipmaker Mobileye.

The new bank will be digital, not have branches and will focus on banking services for households, including providing credit, receiving deposits, managing current accounts, and facilitating the buying and selling of securities.

The bank’s equity, as approved by the Bank of Israel, is $120 million, $60 million of which was invested by Nacht and Shashua (in equal parts) as the controlling shareholders.

The entrepreneurs will now be seeking to raise the rest of the capital needed from private investors in Israel and overseas.

Meanwhile, the digital bank has continued to staff its management team and is expected to hire dozens of new employees by the end of the year, the statement said.

The CEO of the bank is Gal Bar Dea, one of the founders of Pepper, the digital banking venture of the Leumi Group. Bar Dea served in Israel’s elite intelligence Unit 8200 and earned an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

The chairman of the new bank is Shouky Oren, who served as the Accountant General of the Finance Ministry from 2007-2011. Oren was previously CEO of Bank Leumi Switzerland and CEO of real estate firm Kardan NV.

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