ANKARA – Aysel Alp
An official competition investigation committee has demanded that seven out of 13 global banks probed in Turkey for violating competition rules be fined up to 4 percent of their sales revenue, on the grounds that their actions “amounted to the acts as a cartel.”
The committee started its works 25 months ago to probe claims about 13 global banks accused of agreeing loans with higher interest rates for their Turkish clients, including Turkcell and Tüpraş.
On Nov. 15, the investigation committee concluded that seven banks, including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, ING Bank, JP Morgan’s Turkey branch, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Royal Bank’s Istanbul branch violated competition rules.
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi was also found to have violated competition rules, but the committee did not ask for any fine for the lender as it showed full cooperation with the committee from the beginning of the probe, according to sources close to the matter.
The committee then asked for a charge of 2 or 4 percent of these banks’ turnovers as a fine, to be given to the competition authority.
It is not yet clear whether the lenders will pay these fines from their global revenues or from their Turkey revenues.
The final decision in the case is slated to be made on Nov. 29 by the competition authority.