Turkey Bank Lobby Tries to Blunt Criticism of High Lending Rates

Huseyin Aydin, head of Turkey’s biggest bank lobby group, defended lenders from criticism that the firms are treating customers unfairly by raising the cost of loans faster than the interest rate they pay on deposits.

Monetary policy since 2010 has increased banks’ cost of funding, while the country’s economic slowdown has increased the risk of loans souring, Aydin, head of the Banks Association of Turkey, said in an e-mailed statement today.

The group responded after Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, was cited by the Zaman newspaper as saying that lenders were being “unjust” to customers by raising deposit rates 1 percentage point and loan rates by five times that amount.

“The rise in credit risk, linked with the slowdown in economic activity, has resulted in an increase in risk premiums applied on industries or customers,” Aydin said in the statement.

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