Turkish competition board imposes ‘cartel fine’ on two global banks
Turkey’s Competition Board has imposed fines to two out of 13 global banks probed in the country for violating competition on grounds that their actions amounted to cartel acts in providing corporate loans to some of the country’s largest companies.
According to a unanimous board decision, which was released on the board’s official website on Nov. 29, ING Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Istanbul branch and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Turkey were found to have violated the competition rules, but the latter bank was not fined due to its strong cooperation throughout the whole investigation process.
ING Bank was fined 21 million Turkish Liras ($5.3 million) and RBS Istanbul branch was fined 66,000 liras ($16,700).
An official competition investigation committee on Nov. 15 demanded that seven out of 13 global banks probed in Turkey for violating competition rules be fined up to 4 percent of their sales revenue.
The committee started its works 25 months ago to probe claims about 13 global banks accused of agreeing to loans with higher interest rates for their Turkish clients, including Turkcell and Tüpraş.
On Nov. 15, the investigation committee concluded that seven banks, including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, JP Morgan’s Turkey branch, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and RBS Istanbul branch violated competition rules.
The board then took verbal defenses of all the banks and noted that the final decision would be made on Nov. 29.