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Olim Move Home First, Assets and Bank Accounts Only Later

Why people are hesitant to transfer all their assets from their country of origin to Israel during the initial stages of Aliyah.
By Kochava Rozenbaum
First Publish: 8/19/2013, 11:36 AM

US dollars
US dollars
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Arutz Sheva met Sunday with the head of Mercantile Discount Bank’s International Department, Matti Munk, who spoke with new immigrants and explained the banking process in Israel and how to manage funds easily.

Munk says that on a simple level, new immigrants have trouble speaking the language and therefore, have trouble understanding their bank statements. On a more complex level, some find it difficult to manage funds here in Israel and end up living off of income from abroad.

“Generally, people who hold assets in their country of origin will keep a majority of their assets there,” Munk confirmed. “People always feel less at risk at home. For Olim [immigrants], their home is in transition. For most of them, they feel more comfortable in their country of origin,” he continued.

Munk said that eventually many people do transfer their assets to Israel, although it happens gradually, and during a sharp change in currency.

“It is a big thought change for Olim; it’s not going to be overnight.”