TOBB, Erdoğan criticize banks’ hesitation over providing loans

TOBB, Erdoğan criticize banks’ hesitation over providing loans

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
TOBB, Erdoğan criticize banks’ hesitation over providing loans

Turkish banks are stalling off loan demands from Anatolia, TOBB Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu says. AA photo

Turkish lenders have started to make things difficult for small- and medium-sized firms (SME) from Anatolia as they need loans to grow, according to the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

“I would like to warn our banks,” said Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu during a speech yesterday at the TOBB General Assembly in Ankara.

“You are stalling off demands from the Anatolia. You are even acting remorselessly. I do not accept such an approach. Do not put barriers behind the Anatolian capital which is pioneering the change and growth in the Turkish economy. I call on the public administration to take serious and concrete measures against banks that act unrightfully and remorselessly,” he said.

Warning over savings

The chairman also warned that Turkey’s national savings were declining. The deposits in banks have 1,000 percent transferred to loans, which points at future financing hardships in the real sectors, he added.

Banks are acting fastidiously in giving loans to entrepreneurs, which was unacceptable, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, echoing Hisarcıklıoğlu during his speech at the assembly.

 “If things continue this way, they [the lenders] themselves will face difficulties,” he said. “When my entrepreneurs get stronger, they will support those who had supported them in hard days.”

Commenting on Turkey’s lingering current account deficit problem, Hisarcıklıoğlu addressed three crucial sectors: agriculture, tourism and transportation. Hisarcıkloğlu said another source of inequality was the gray economy. The recent ease in employment taxes was positive, he said, noting that the low employing costs triggers an increase in registered employment.

Turkey posted 8.5 percent GDP growth in a period in which the European economies were heading for crisis and the Middle East was facing large political turmoils, he said, adding that the private sector and consumption supported the growth.

“Some 5 million lost their jobs in Europe in crisis as the private sector in Turkey created 1.06 million registered jobs,” he said, adding that the number of active workplaces reached 1.4 million with an additional 109,000 new businesses.

Still, along with the current account deficit, the ongoing financial and economic slowdown in Europe posed risks for the economy, he warned.

Erdoğan also warned about the impacts of the eurozone crisis. The budget gaps in Europe are growing, he said, noting that the cost of the moves to enliven the financial sector since 2008 had been too high. To structural and rooted measures were taken there yet, he also said.

Turkey was not badly affected by the crisis but there was no ground for drowsiness, the prime minister said. He called on businesspeople to invest in the eastern and southeastern provinces to support fight against terrorism.

Economy Minister Bakanı Zafer Çağlayan, Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Başkanı Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) member Faruk Bal, former TOBB presidents, chamber leaders and numbers of businessmen were also present at the assembly at TOBB Economy and Technology University.