Turkey's banking watchdog to put ‘single limit’ on credit cards soon
The number of people with card debt and loan debt surpassed 680,000 as of June, while the amount was around 822,000 in all of 2012, according to a report.Turkey’s banking watchdog (BDDK) is preparing to put a draft regulation in effect, launching a “single limit” for credit cards, just after the loan volume of Turkey’s banks exceeded 1 trillion Turkish Liras at the end of September for the first time, an economy official told Reuters.
“The prepared draft is expected to be put on the table during the planned weekly meeting of the banking watchdog this week,” the source said.
A consumer’s credit card limit could not exceed four times the amount of his/her monthly income during a time when credit debts have exceeded 1 trillion liras for the first time this month in line with the drafted rules, on which Turkey’s economy administration has started to work to offset the uncontrolled use of loans and credit cards in the domestic market and to decrease household debt levels.
With the new rules, credit card holders will not be able to exceed the upper limit, which will be set by regulation of their monthly income. The same is applicable for all credit card holders, and the basis will be their income.
Credit card and personal loan debt has reached alarming levels in Turkey as the number of people with card debt and loan debt surpassed 680,000 as of June, while the amount was around 822,000 in all of 2012, according to the latest report by the Turkish Banks Association (TBB).
Meanwhile, the loan volume of Turkey’s banks has increased up to 1 trillion liras this September from around 535 billion liras in 2010. Consumer products of the banks are now around 237 billion liras in volume, an 84 percent increase from the 2010 figures. Consumers are now indebted with about 82.3 billion liras from their credit card, an 88 percent from the 2010 data.
Steps get started before
The BDDK also said Aug. 16 that other measures to control credit card spending and to enable more controlled use of credit cards are being enacted.
Under the new measures, overdrafts on deposit accounts and loans on credit cards will be included under the broader category of consumer loans, preventing banks from charging higher interest rates for their services.
The BDDK move came weeks after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly slammed banks for collecting large sums of money from the “poor.” “Those credit cards: Don’t have them. If everybody spends as much as they [banks] want, they would not even be able to earn that income. They could never be satiated,” he said July 16.