Asset management firms set eyes on unpaid bills of indebted Turkish citizens

Asset management firms set eyes on unpaid bills of indebted Turkish citizens

Asset management firms set eyes on unpaid bills of indebted Turkish citizens Asset management companies, which have already been de-facto managing the non-performing loans of the ten largest banks in Turkey, have now set their eyes on unpaid telecommunication, natural gas and water bills, according to an exclusive report in daily Dünya. 

These companies manage some one-third of the 62 billion Turkish Liras in bad loans distributed by lenders, said Hilmi Güvenal, the deputy president of the Asset Management Companies Association. 

“The debt of the citizens is not limited to debit and credit cards. We want to manage the receivables of the telecommunications debts linked to the BTK [Information and Communications Technologies Authority] and energy companies linked to the EPDK [Turkey’s energy watchdog],” he said. 

Some 21 billion liras worth of bad bank loans have been acquired by 11 asset management companies since 2008 and some 3 billion liras have been paid to the banks, as they have collected 2.5 billion liras, he noted. 

“There are 1.5 million individuals in the portfolios of asset management companies,” the executive said, revealing the number of Turks having large difficulties in paying their loans to banks. 

“We have saved some 500,000 customers from indebted status,” he added. 

In 2014 alone, banks sold 6 million liras worth of loans only in capital money which excluded interests and fees, which refers to some 20 percent of the delayed collections, according to the data provided by Güvenal.

According to data from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the non-performing loans of the banks stand at 41.7 billion liras, not 62.7 billion liras, thanks to another 21-billion-lira portion sold to asset management firms. 

“If the calculation was made over [62.7 billion liras], then the ratio of the belated receivables to the overall loans would stand at 4.4 percent, not 2.9 [percent],” he said. 

“We see problems in the too-fast loans distributed by banks via SMS,” he told Dünya.

“The banks work to collect a non-performing loan for two years, while we do it for seven years,” he said. 

Some 70 percent of such companies’ portfolios are made up of individual loans, as mortgage and car loans constitute only a small portion, he said, adding they could collect the receivables of only 25 out of every 100 credit cards. 

The number of indebted citizens is rising rapidly he said, citing an approximate figure of 3 million people. 

In cases of death, families of indebted people usually prefer to give away their rights to avoid paying past loans, according to Güvenal. However, once the procedure is over, families try to pay the past debts of their late relatives, he said.