Draft – Telephone answering arrangements (Hebrew)​

The Banking Supervision Department at the Bank of
Israel today published a draft directive the aim of which is to regulate
telephone answering arrangements for customers of the banking system, and to
limit waiting times until a human response is received when a customer calls
the call center.

Supervisor of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber said, “The draft directive published today is
intended to make sure that the banks and credit card companies provide
customers of the banking system with a professional telephone answering service
that is high quality and efficient, through the call centers, and to ensure
that in urgent cases, customers calling the centers will receive a rapid human
response.  This is in addition to the
support and removal of barriers that the Banking Supervision Department is
leading in order to promote a response to customers through digital means as
well, such as sending SMS messages, email, online chat with a human or
electronic representative, as a response to customer demand for these means of


Banking corporations provide their customers with a
response service through a variety of means of communication and through
various technological means (Internet, cellular, automatic machines,
telephone), including through telephone call centers.  The objective of this directive is to anchor
and regulate the banking corporation’s duties to provide customers with a
professional telephone response, and to limit the waiting time to receive a
human response when a customer calls, with the aim of ensuring improved and
streamlined service provided to customers of the banking system by phone.


This directive applies the main commonly accepted
requirements concerning telephone response, as consistent with consumer
protection laws, to the banking corporations, with changes that are necessary
and relevant to the banking system, and adds requirements for on-going
monitoring and control, the results of which will be reported to the senior
management and Board of Directors, with the aim of ensuring the effective
implementation of the requirements of this directive.


The following are the main requirements of the

·     The banking corporations
are required to provide customers with a professional human response through a
telephone call center.

·     When the waiting time at
the call center exceeds three minutes, the banking corporations are required to
notify a customer calling the center what the estimated waiting time is until a
human response can be received, and to enable the customer to request that his
call be returned.

·     Calls with a high level of
urgency for the customer (such as: calls regarding returned checks or the loss
of a payment card) will be directed to a rapid response as immediate as
possible, and will receive a response within three hours from the time the
customer leaves a message, at the very most.

·     Other calls that are not
defined as highly urgent, shall be answered by the banking corporations within
a time frame that does not exceed two business days from the time the message
is left by the customer.

·     Banking corporations shall
gather and monitor data regarding answer patterns and waiting times for a human
response, with the aim of ensuring that the proper level of resources are
invested and that proper administrative processes are carried out to ensure
that quality and proper service is provided to the banking corporation’s
customers calling the call center.