Emirates NBD - the largest bank in the UAE - and Bank Hapoalim - the largest bank in Israel - signed a cooperation agreement between them on Monday, according to a joint statement published by the Dubai Government Media Office.
This is the first banking agreement between UAE banks and Israel since they agreed to normalize relations under an agreement sponsored by the United States.
The statement said that this agreement is the first of its kind between the two sides, and falls within the framework of the start of financial and economic relations between the UAE and Israel.
In the statement, Emirates NBD CEO Shane Nelson said that this agreement is a valuable opportunity for our customers to do business and trade, in addition to strengthening our position as a reliable banking partner for companies in all countries and regions, in which our business extends.
For his part, General Manager of Bank Hapoalim, Dov Kotler, described the memorandum of understanding as a historic precedent.
Because the two banks are looking to strengthen ties of cooperation in the wake of the establishment of financial and economic relations between the UAE and Israel.
In the joint statement, Kotler said that establishing strong relations with Emirates NBD represents a remarkable achievement, which will enable customers in Israel to conduct direct banking transactions with the UAE, and thus with other countries.
Emirates NBD is the largest bank in Dubai by assets, with activities in several countries.
The agreement comes one day before the formal signing of the normalization agreement between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, and a similar agreement between Bahrain and Israel, at a ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House.
The series of economic normalization
The General Manager of Bank Hapoalim, Dov Cutler, arrived in the UAE last Tuesday at the head of a delegation of Israeli businessmen, on the first visit of its kind to the Gulf state, after the two countries announced that they had reached an agreement for normalization.
The memorandum between the two banks was preceded by a cooperation agreement in the banking field between the Emirates and Israel signed by the UAE Central Bank and the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on August 31.
Later this week, another banking delegation from Bank Leumi - the second largest bank in Israel - is to visit the UAE for cooperation talks with Emirati banks.
On September 1, the First Abu Dhabi Bank said that it had initiated discussions with Hapoalim and Leumi Banks, with the aim of establishing banking relationships that would enhance financial and economic cooperation between the UAE and Israel.
On August 13, the UAE and Israel announced an agreement for full normalization between them, followed on September 11 by the announcement of a similar agreement between Israel and Bahrain.