The Turkish banking sector learned hard lessons from the country’s financial crisis in 2001-02, and as a result, it was among the most stable and secure through the global financial crisis of 2008, remaining a safe harbour for foreign and domestic investors alike. The sector is very competitive, and profits declined during 2011 on the back of reduced margins from loans, however the stability of the sector remains one of the key elements driving the nation’s overall economic growth. With the nation rapidly developing, online and mobile services have enabled banks to attract more customers while developing adaptive offerings to utilise funds that are in flux. While tightening monetary policy has posed a distinct challenge to banks, they are readily adaptable, and the nation’s vast infrastructure and energy project pipeline offer significants opportunities for long-term returns.
The chapter features interviews with Mehmet Şimşek, the Minister of Finance; Central Bank Governor Erdem Başçı; Adnan Bali, the CEO of Iş Bank; Hüseyin Aydin, the General Manager of Ziraat Bank; and Martin Spurling, the CEO of HSBC Turkey.