In Friday evening, after the closing of stock exchange, the TCA has announced its long-awaited decision regarding major banks of Turkey. The TCA hits 12 major banks with record fines totalling 1,11 billion Turkish liras (around 480 million Euros). This amount exceeds the total fines imposed by the TCA since its establishment. Here are the percentages of the fines imposed on banks today (indicated by the red slice) compared to the total amount of the fines up to date.
This decision also broke another record in the history of the TCA which will celebrate its 16th anniversary next Friday. As can be seen in the graphics below, the fines imposed on five banks (indicated by red columns) have taken its place among the highest fines imposed on a single undertaking.
The allegations investigated in the case include determination of deposit and credit interest rates, exchange of information, collusion on the increase of credit cards’ fees, and bid-rigging. Notwithstanding, the infringement was not regarded as a cartel. Hence the TCA started the calculation of fines in the range of 0.5%-3% instead of 2%-4%.
When we come to the adjustment factors, the TCA has not increased the fines because of the repeated infringement although it also imposed fines in 2011 on some of the banks that are fined today. On the other hand, the TCA applied mitigating factors in today’s decision.
All in all, the decision has already taken a significant place in the TCA’s history. It can also be asserted that the Authority has proved its maturity and sent a clear message to businesses that it will not tolerate any behaviour contrary to the Act how big or important you are for the economy as a whole.