Turkish government denies claims of financial bodies’ merger

Turkish government denies claims of financial bodies’ merger

Turkish government denies claims of financial bodies’ merger

The Capital Markets Board (SPK) is in charge of overseeing the companies that are traded at the stock exchange, while the Banking Supervision and Regulation Authority (BDDK) has authority over the banking sector.

The Turkish government has no plans to merge the banking and capital markets watchdogs under a single roof that would consolidate state control over the financial sector, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial Affairs has said.

 “There is certainly no such merger on our agenda. Not only for now, but we don’t have such plans for the future either,” the Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan told Anadolu Agency yesterday, with the aim of ending circulating claims.

Several sources close to the economy management in Ankara had been speculating that the government was working on a unification of the Banking Supervision and Regulation Authority (BDDK) and the Capital Markets Board (SPK) as part of an economy package that had been prepared under the leadership of Babacan.

The government may also be working on establishing a new supreme board that will oversee the SPK and BDDK, sources say, claiming such a move would force the government to re-structure these institutions as well.

Babacan: Bodies work smoothly

Strictly denying those claims, Babacan said, “Any gossip that could cast shadow on both institutions’ credibility and future plans shouldn’t be allowed.”

He recalled the government had considered a merger of the two bodies in the years 2003 and 2004, but said the plans were abandoned after concluding such a merger would not be beneficial, as shown by studies.

“We gave that idea up in 2004. As of today, there is definitely no such thing on our agenda,” he reasserted.

Underlining that both institutions were working “smoothly and successfully,” Babacan said the government has already re-established the SPK, nearly from scratch, with the new SPK code that took effect at the beginning of last year, while the BDDK works under a completely different legal framework.

“While the BDDK makes regulation and supervision only from the banking perspective, the SPK will continue to do its job with respect to companies traded at the stock exchange and capital markets,” he said. Speaking a day before Babacan’s statement, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi said there were no solid developments regarding the merger.