Turkey’s economic agenda was occupied by the TCA’s ongoing banking investigation at the end of the last week. Investigation mentioned was commenced, a year ago (November the 2nd, 2011) and concerns 12 major banks. According to the Mr. Kaldırımcı -President of the Authority- alleged accusations includes colluding to fix interest rates on many loan types, especially credit cards.
What brought the longstanding investigation foreground last week was an article written by economy columnist Erdal Sağlam from Hürriyet Daily. In his article titled “Banks to face billions of liras of competition fines” Sağlam stated incorrectly that the TCA’s investigation on banking sector had come to an end and concerned parties would be fined. This statement refuted by the President Mr. Kaldırımcı in no time at all. Refuting Sağlam’s remarks Mr. Kaldırımcı indicated that “We had said the investigation would be completed in January at the earliest. But it is not likely to be finalized before February or March” and added it is uncertain yet if there will be a fining or not. The article was also confuted by the TCA in its announcement (in Turkish).
But President’s clarifications couldn’t help banks share prices’ falling at the end of the day. While banking price index decreasing 2,41 percent on Friday, İMKB (İstanbul Stock Exchange) 100 index fell 1,56 percent. Those ill results of a simple misconception emphasise importance of competition advocacy and public relations i suppose.
PS: On a side note Erdal Sağlam’s article includes some other noteworthy aspects. We are going to touch upon them on a different post.