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International Roots

International Roots

An International bank with a National Commitment & a Jewish Touch

Leumi* was founded and incorporated as a British company in London (UK) on February 27, 1902, under the name the "Anglo-Palestine",by an Austro-Hungarian citizen named Theodor Herzl.  This was a part of his vision for the establishment of a State for the Jewish people.  The bank's first Chairman and General Manager were respectively, David Wolffsohn and Zalman David Levontin-both Russian nationals.  Leumi's* second Chairman and General Manager were respectively, Jacobus Henricus Kahn and Ziegfried Hoofien-both Dutch.  Among the members of the Board were French, German, Romanian Ukranian and Polish citizens.


The Bank opened its first bank branch in Palestine (Eretz Israel) in Jaffa, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. The language spoken and used in its branches and head offices was from its inception Hebrew, the currency used in the balances was the French Franc until the first world war, when it was replaced by the Egyptian Pound and later the English Pound Sterling.  


Two years after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Bank was incorporated as an Israeli company.


We are proud to have been "the" Bank that issued the first Israeli currency soon after the State was declared in 1948. Leumi is the Israeli bank which consistently supports nation-building and development in periods of dynamic growth, while remaining a stable financial entity during challenging times, as well. The single most defining aspect of Leumi* is that we are simultaneously international, national, and local in perspective, committed to Zionist goals while reaching out to the Jewish people and communities throughout the world.


*(Leumi in Hebrew means "national")