Turkish financial and legal services industries offer a wide range of opportunities. Under close regulatory supervision, Turkish financial institutions boast very healthy financial ratios and a bright growth prospects.
Turkish financial services industry has gone through a radical structural transformation after the financial crisis in 2001. A new industry watchdog has been created and was mandated with closely watching and enforcing strict reserve requirements. As a result, the Turkish banking industry is considerably healthier than its European counterparts and survived the recent financial crisis relatively unscathed.
Currently the loan to GDP ratio (around 50%) is considerably low and coupled with a healthy expected GDP growth rate (average 5% for the next 10 years), the loan portfolio of the Turkish banking sector is expected to grow 18% for the next 10 years. The deposits are also expected to grow on average 15% for the next 10 years. Turkish financial institutions have considerably less exposure to potential European debt issues and have an improving earnings growth outlook compared to regional peers.
Non-bank financial institutions are still small compared to banks but due to Turkey’s rooted stock exchange, the brokerage and fund business remain viable and healthy. Insurance sector is also vibrant and top foreign players such as Aviva and AXA are all present in Turkey.
The legal services industry in Turkey is also going through a transformation. The number of foreign firms present in Turkey increased along with the economic growth. Certain regulatory barriers to entry still remain but this did not prevent top law firms such as Kinstellar, DLA Piper and Clifford Chance from entering the Turkish market in recent years.
The Turkish government has undertaken a project to develop Istanbul as a regional financial centre and the aforementioned sectors are expected to grow and change along with the evolution of this project.
There are many opportunities for UK institutions in Turkish financial and professional services industry:
Banking: Investment banking JVs, M&A, consulting
Insurance and Pensions: Privatization, fund management
Accounting: Along with new commercial code, a number of different opportunities
Legal Services: Joint venture, strategic partnerships with local firms.
Getting into the market
Turkish financial services industry is heavily regulated and requirements are very strict. As a result, Turkish banks are regarded as some of the safest in the world. Technology is widely used and Turkish internet and telephone banking is one of the most advanced in the world.
Due to the young demographics of the country, consumer banking is also especially important and very developed. Turkish financial services professionals are very well educated and most of them speak at least one foreign language, English in most instances.
Turkish banks and other financial professional services institutions are open and used to collaborating with foreign firms.
The banking licenses are distributed by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and the selection process is kept rigorous to ensure the quality of the sector participants.
The law firms should apply to the bars of the relevant cities they plan to operate and the bars are known to be neutral in admitting foreign law firms.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Sinan Akkaya, British Consulate General Istanbul. Tel: +90 (0) 212 334 6437 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Itir Oner Filipucci, British Consulate General Istanbul. Tel: +90 (0) 212 334 6445 or email: email@example.com.
None at present.
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