After being denied basic banking services by a majority of the country’s banks, Israeli crypto holders have decided to fight back. Already, several court cases have been filed against commercial banks. In the latest twist, the Israel Bitcoin Association has filed a petition in court demanding that the Bank of Israel discloses the crypto policies of the country’s banks.
The association filed the petition in the Jerusalem District Court, a report by local business daily Globes has revealed. Speaking to the outlet, the association’s chairman Meni Rosenfeld revealed that the central bank had refused an earlier request for this information saying it constituted commercial secrets.
The association has been on a renewed quest to ensure crypto holders can access basic banking services. According to sources who spoke to Globes, the association has been funding a legal proceeding against Union Bank. The petition requests the court to order the bank to offer banking services to one of its clients who deals in cryptocurrency trading.
Part of the petition states, “The bank did not conduct an examination of the petitioner’s specific circumstances. As far as the bank is concerned, the fact that the money came from the sale of bitcoin is enough to rule out in advance the option of depositing it in the petitioner’s account.”
The association has also been calling on all Israeli crypto holders who have been denied banking services to come forward and take part in legal action against the banks. The lawsuit mainly seeks to represent those with small amounts of cryptos as they are the ones who can’t afford to take legal action individually due to the costs.
Israeli banks have even extended the banking ban to entities that don’t engage in crypto trading, solely because their names have ‘Bitcoin’ in it. One of these is the Israel Bitcoin Association, a non-profit organization founded to promote the use of cryptos in the country. The association petitioned the decision with the Bank of Israel which took its side. However, till date, the local bank in question has yet to open an account for the organization.
In Israel, commercial banks are obligated to reveal to the Bank of Israel the policy under which they refuse to conduct a transaction. These are the policies that the association is after, the legal adviser Jonathan Klinger told Globes.
He explained, “We therefore contacted the Bank of Israel and asked for this information, but the Bank of Israel did not agree to disclose this policy to us. We therefore decided to petition the court to force the Bank of Israel to provide us with a copy of the policy submitted to it by the banks.”
The commercial banks are reported to be awaiting the decision of the regulator before making their decisions.
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