Istanbul – Turkish banks are reporting substantial growth in the default and loss numbers, the latest data from the country’s banking watchdog showed on Friday.
Turkey’s National Bank said last month that loans in the banking sector have been on a “growing roll” with commercial bank Kurunegla and Turkey’s main commercial bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, reporting the largest increase in default and loan losses since October.
The number of loan defaults has also been on the rise, with banks reporting 6,959 loans outstanding in the financial sector as of March 31, up by about 14 percent from the previous year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said last week that its total loans outstanding had risen to $2.7 billion.
Kurunecia, which was set up in 2010, said in a statement that it had increased its lending by about $1 billion and its lending margin from 60 percent to 80 percent in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period in 2016.
Kursuneglla said that in the period April 1 to May 31, it had loaned more than $2 billion to commercial banks, up from $2,500 million a year earlier.
Banco Azul, a subsidiary of Turkish state-owned company Halkbank, said it had reported an increase of about $200 million in loans outstanding to commercial bank Azul Istanbul, which reported a decrease of $100 million.
Turkey has a long history of defaulting on loans and losses, and is often criticised for a weak banking sector.
In a bid to attract foreign investors, Ankara is investing heavily in banking in the country.