Banks’ non-interest revenues surge despite public and political reactions
ANKARATurkish Liras ($15.2 billion) in 2013, marking a 30 percent increase from the previous year.
According to data from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), more than half of this revenue was earned through banking services provided, as banking service revenues soared by 20 percent to 17 billion liras in 2013.
The government, led by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been publicly slamming private lenders and accusing them of “exploiting the poor” through “unfair means,” mainly referring to commissions and fees.
Despite the government’s vocal denunciation and measures introduced to curb such revenue items, the BDDK data revealed that banks’ income from commissions and fees collected through loans amounted to 5.5 billion liras in 2013, also jumping by 30 percent last year.
The high fees charged by banks have also attracted attention from consumers and unions, and the government has passed a law obliging banks to offer a fee-free credit card option. It has also raised the penalty on banks that try to earn “undeserved income” through commissions.
The Turkish Banks Association (TBB) also introduced measures in September that are aimed at informing and consulting customers before the imposition of new commission items in order to make the lenders more accountable for their actions.