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Bank Hapoalim to close London banking office

Israel-based Bank Hapoalim is likely to shut down its sole branch in London, as the lender aims to concentrate on corporate accounts within the US.

Bank Hapoalim spokeswoman was quoted by Haaretz news agency as saying, "As part of the annual working plan, the bank decided to focus and cut back its operations in London."

Hapoalim is the third Israeli lender to scale back operations in London.

The UK has stiffened banking regulation, making it difficult for foreign lenders to operate in the country due to reduced profitability.