More than a third of the population has an overdraft at the bank, according to a just-released survey by the Hagal Hechadash (New Wave) organization for Bank Otzar Hachayal (the Soldier Treasury Bank). The survey coincided with the launch of a new program at the bank which offers new customers a a loan of up to 50,000 shekels to bring the balance to zero and full exemption from central checking-account fees for five years.
Of the 500 people over the age of 18 who were surveyed, 23 percent were overdrawn most, if not all of the month and more than 11 percent had a negative balance a small part of the month. There was no relationship between overdraft and size of one's income. About 34.8 percent of the people who said their income was way above average said they were overdrawn all month, every month. About 34.4 percent don't know what interest they are paying on the overdraft.