Turkish private lender Akbank is set to invest $200 million in technology by 2024, as announced by CEO Kaan Gür at a news conference on Tuesday. This investment forms part of a larger $600 million budget allocated for technology over the next three years. Gür also noted that changes to regulations in early February had relieved cost pressures for banks, increasing their appetite for loans.
In addition, Gür revealed that a portion of loan requests are now being made in foreign currency, with interest rates reaching a level that supports conversions from FX-protected accounts (KKM) to Turkish lira ones. The Turkish central bank began rolling back the KKM scheme last August in an effort to increase the share of lira deposits in the banking system and has since been implementing measures to discourage companies and individuals from renewing these accounts.
During the news conference, Gür stated that CBRT Governor Fatih Karahan reaffirmed the decline in the volume of KKM accounts observed in recent months, while Turkish lira deposits were building up. In fact, Turkish lira deposits have increased by TL 2.4 trillion over the past five months, while KKM volume has decreased by TL 910 billion.
Finally, Gür announced that the central bank had signaled that its tightening cycle was complete after delivering a series of interest rate hikes that lifted the policy rate from 8.5% to its current level of 45%. The bank orchestrated a shift toward more conventional policymaking last year.