MKs Gang Up on Banks: Pay Interest on Bank Accounts

If clients have to pay interest on overdrafts, then the bank should pay them interest for anything over zero in their account, according to bills submitted in the Knesset. They were presented by Ofir Akunis, chairman of the Knesset Economics Committee; Moshe Gafni, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee; and Zion Fanian, the coalition whip on the Finance Committee.

Labor's Orit Noked had submitted a similar bill to the last Knesset, to the horror of the Israel Banks Association and Bank of Israel. Knesset sources suspect that the banks will unleash their lobbyists to kill this bill, too.

Akunis called it a proposal of the utmost importance to consumers and said the interest income would motivate Israelis to stay out of debt. He pointed out that in the past, some banks did pay interest on positive balances. Fanian said the proposal would right the wrong done to Israelis who maintain positive balances in their checking accounts.