Turkey’s lending boom still booming
Despite conflicting views on the state of the economy and uncertainty caused by political unrest, banks are riding high on mortgage lending and consumer loans. There is still huge untapped potential for credit cards. High interest rates remain the fly in the ointment, however. Julian Marshall reports.
Even in good times Turkey is vulnerable
WHILE BANKERS WORLDWIDE struggle through hard times and contemplate wide-scale redundancy programmes, their counterparts in Turkey remain ebullient.
This is despite clear troubles on the political front that have brought people onto the streets to protest about the future direction of the country, in the light of the appointment of a president with a strong Islamic conservative background. And despite conflicting views on the economy, the most pessimistic of which came from Standard & Poor’s, which revised its outlook on the country’s creditworthiness from stable to negative (see Even in good times Turkey is vulnerable, Euromoney, June 2008), the banking market remains buoyant.
"Mortgage lending will be the main driver behind loan book growth"
Tanju Yuksel, general manager responsible for investors and international relations, at Vakifbank, gives a fair representation of the health of the banking sector, when he describes how his bank is aiming to expand its market presence, which already stands at 490 branches. "We are growing our bank network extensively," he says.