Psagot brokerage to buy 20 percent of BLender’s Israel activity
Psagot Investment House, Israel’s largest brokerage, will buy 20 percent of peerto-peer lending platform BLender’s Israeli activity, the companies said on Monday.
Financial terms were not disclosed, and the agreement is subject to regulatory and other approvals.
As part of the deal, Psagot, which is owned by private-equity firm Apax Partners, will add a member to the BLender Israel board.
The investment in BLender enables Psagot to enter the consumer-credit market quickly. Psagot had long sought to enter this market, which is 95% dominated by Israeli banks and the credit-card companies they own.
Over the past few years since financial institutions entered the business, credit-market interest rates have declined due to increased competition, Psagot chief executive Hagai Badash said. But consumer-credit interest rates remain high, he said.
“The investment houses are the competition generators in the financial industry and can bring a major change to this market too,” Badash said. “The combination between Psagot... and the disruptive technology of BLender is another strategic step toward improving the consumers’ financial position.”