Bank Audi gets final approval of regulator

Bank Audi gets final approval of regulator

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Bank Audi gets final approval of regulator

Bank Audi plans to open 28 branches in Turkey under the Odea label by the end of 2013. Hürriyet photo

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) has approved Lebanon-based Bank Audi’s application to open a branch in Turkey under the name of Odea Bank.

Bank Audi has reportedly transferred Finansbank Levent Branch Manager Hülya Küçük to head its new Odea Bank branch, according to newsportal Finansgündem.

Bank Audi is Lebanon’s largest bank and the fourth largest bank in the Arab world. The bank was not given permission to open a branch under the Bank Audi label because it conflicts with the name of the German automaker, so it opted to use the Odea Bank name.

The bank was the first lender to obtain a banking license last year in Turkey after 12-year hiatus in which no banks acquired licenses.

The bank plans to open 28 branches in Turkey by the end of 2013 and is expected to contribute $4 billion to the Turkish economy, according to daily Sabah.

Bank Audi’s chief executive officer, Samir Hanna, told daily Hürriyet in May that the bank planned to hire 500 to 600 local employees by the end of the year. Hanna also said he believed Turkey would become the bank’s second largest market after Lebanon within two years. Odea Bank does not plan on competing with local Turkish banks that already have 1,000 branches in the country.

“We’ll talk about competing with the large banks once we’ve reached that size. We are a new bank. That’s why our strategy is about visibility,” said Hanna.