Accusations that Bank Leumi improperly voided Visa Israel Credit Cards held by its customers and manipulated its customers into adopting Leumi Cards have reached the court.

Leumi customer Eliraz Amir today filed a claim at the Tel Aviv District Court through the offices of attorney Yitzhak Aviram.

Amir demands compensation for damage subsequent to Leumi's revoking his Visa ICC credit card, before it had expired, in order to persuade him to take out a Leumi card. He wants his suit to be recognized as a class action.

Amir claims the bank voided his Visa ICC card without notice. He had to waste time going to the bank to investigate the matter. At the bank, nobody advised him of any problem with his Visa ICC card, but proposed that he take out a Leumi Card instead.

He claims that he agreed to accept a Leumi Card in order to avoid being left without any card at all. But conversations with his colleagues at work and news stories in the press taught him the real reason his card was voided, he claims. Amir said he demanded clarifications from the bank that were never forthcoming.

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Amir says that press reports reveal Leumi rewarded its employees for recruiting customers for Leumi Card and canceling Visa ICC cards.

Personal damage of NIS 500

Amir estimates the personal damage he suffered to be about NIS 500. He says that for several days he had no card at all and that he had to waste time transferring standing payment orders, for utilities for instance, from his voided card to the new one.

From the purely legal perspective, Amir accuses Leumi of violating the Banking Law and its affiliated regulations. Among other things, he claims the bank unilaterally and improperly beached its agreement with customers in respect to their Visa ICC credit card, because it wanted to abandon their Visa ICC credit cards in favor of Leumi cards.

Amir further claims Leumi should have advised him well in advance of its intention to annul his credit, which it never did do. Moreover, it improperly made resuming his credit line conditional on his adopting Leumi card, he claims.

Visa ICC used to belong jointly to Bank Leumi and Israel Bank Discount, which bought out Leumi's share.