Turkish government to take action against high banking fees

Turkish government to take action against high banking fees

Hülya Güler - ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
Turkish government to take action against high banking fees

More than half of the banking sector’s 2012 profit came from the charges received from customer transactions. DAILY NEWS photo

The Turkish government has adopted a new approach to banking fees and commissions, Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı said yesterday.

“Hereafter the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) will set the noninterest revenues of the banks. Regarding credit card fees there will be a free plain card for the banking consumers who want neither partial payment nor points. Others will pay card fees,” Yazıcı added.

The minister announced the government had taken two new positions about the fees and commissions from service charges, about which many consumers have complained. Yazıcı added that a draft law on this issue was planned to be sent to the Turkish Parliament in May.

Yazıcı said there was no option to remove banks’ fees and commissions completely.

‘There will be a ceiling’

Now the government is developing a new formula concerning the issue, she added. “The way the Central Bank plays a regulatory role on banks’ interest rates, the BDDK, which regulates and supervises the banking industry, is to designate banks’ service fees and commissions,” Yazıcı said.

Yazıcı also said both the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the BDDK had already started to work on new regulations regarding the service charges by banks.

 “The BDDK will announce a ceiling price. Banks will then not be able to charge above this ceiling. The banks will be able to set any prices below the ceiling so as to be more competitive.”

The high expense cost banks charge draws a huge attraction by consumers and the unions. While the banking sector’s net profits reached 23.6 billion Turkish Liras – a 19.2 percent increase in 2012 from a year earlier – bank charges received from customer transactions made up a considerable part of this at 14.8 billion liras, according to data compiled by Hürriyet Daily News from the BDDK in February.

Bank charges and commissions obtained from loans made up 19.2 billion liras in noninterest income last year, up from 17.1 billion liras in 2011. While credit fees and commissions totaled 4.4 billion liras, the bank charges received from customers amounted to 14.8 billion liras, which was enough to cover staff expenses, 14.2 billion liras.