Turkish private lender Akbank has announced plans to invest $200 million in technology by 2024, as part of a larger $600 million budget earmarked for technology over the next three years. This investment comes after changes to regulations in early February alleviated cost pressures for banks, increasing the appetite for loans.
According to a Reuters report, Akbank CEO Kaan Gür revealed that a portion of loan requests is starting to switch from Turkish lira to foreign currency. He noted that interest rates have reached a level that will support conversions from FX-protected accounts (KKM) to Turkish lira ones. The Turkish central bank began rolling back the KKM scheme last August to boost the share of lira deposits in the banking system and has been announcing measures to dissuade companies and individuals from renewing these accounts.
During a news conference, Gür stated that Central Bank of Republic of Türkiye (CBRT) Governor Fatih Karahan reaffirmed the decline in the volume of KKM accounts observed in the past months, while Turkish lira deposits were building up. In the last five months, Turkish lira deposits increased by TL 2.4 trillion, while KKM volume decreased by TL 910 billion. Lastly, the central bank signaled that the tightening cycle was complete in its last policy meeting, after delivering a series of interest rate hikes that lifted the policy rate from 8.5% to the current 45%.