The First International Bank was incorporated in 1972, in accordance with a decision of the then Minister if Finance, Mr. Pinchas Sapir. The Bank was established through the merger of several small banking institutions: the Foreign Trade Bank, Export Bank, the Israeli Industrial Bank, Atzmaut Mortgage and Development Bank, as well as a number of independent provident funds.
The primary investors in the Bank were the State of Israel through FIBI Holdings Company (serving to this date as the holding company of the Bank) and the US bank First Pennsylvania Bank – the only foreign entity, which at that period invested in an Israeli bank. Following several years of activity, First Pennsylvania Bank sold in 1978 its share in the First International Bank to the Eisenberg group, which already one year later sold its interest in the Bank to the Danot Group, owned by eleven industrialists.
In 1977, the First International Bank acquired control of PAGI Bank, which specialized in providing banking services to the ultra-orthodox population in Israel. In the eighties of the twentieth century, the Bank expanded its operations overseas by establishing banking extensions in London (1981) and in Zurich (1984).
In 1986, Mr. Jacque Nasser acquired the control in FIBI Holdings, and in 1990 the control was acquired by the Safra banker family, which was in control of the Bank until April 2003, when it sold control of the Bank to the Bino-Lieberman Group, composed of the investment company Bino Holdings and the Australian Lieberman family. This Group holds the control of the Bank to this day.
The following years were marked by considered acquisitions of selected banking institutions in Israel, intended to serve the business strategy of the First International Bank, as follows:
- In 2004 – acquisition of control in UBank (then Investec Bank), with a view of enhancing operations in the private banking and capital market fields.
- In 2006 – acquisition of control in Otzar Hahayal Bank, with a view of enhancing the business of the Bank in the retail segment and the offering of services to the quality population of the security forces personnel.
- In 2008 – acquisition of control in Massad Bank, as an additional step in enhancing the business with the retail segment by providing banking services to the teaching personnel in Israel.
- In 2005 – the mortgage banks operating within the First International bank Group were merged with and into the Bank, which coordinates the mortgage loan operations by an internal unit specializing in this field.
- In 2015 – the Bank decided on the merger of PAGI Bank and UBank with and into the First International bank, while maintaining the brand names PAGI and UBank –being leading brand names in their sectors.
General Managers of the Bank since inception:
1972-1980 - Mr. David Golan
1980-1986 - Mr. Zadik Bino
1986-1990 - Mr. Shalom Zinger
1990-2001 - Mr. Shlomo Piotrkovsky
2001-2007 - Mr. David Granot
2007- to-date - Mrs. Smadar Barber-Tsadik
Chairmen of the Board of the Bank since inception:
1972-1979 - Mr. Mark Moshevitz
1979-1980 - Mr. David Golan
1980 - Mr. Amos Manor
1980-1985 - Mr. Mark Moshevitz
1985-1986 - Mr. Boaz Nahir
1986-1987 - Mr. Zadik Bino
1987-2001 - Mr. Yigal Arnon
2001-2003 - Mr. Shlomo Piotrkovsky
2003-2006 - Dr. Joshua Rosenzweig
2006-2012 - Mr. Jacq Elad
2012-2016 – Mr. Rony Hizkiaho
2017- to-date – Mrs. Irit Izakson