February 4, 2015

Bank Asya lawyer says ‘seizure’ out of question, bank to continue operations

One of the lawyers of Bank Asya has denied that the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) seized the Islamic lender, stressing that it only made changes in Bank Asya's management that will not affect the bank's operations.

The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) on Tuesday decided to order the TMSF to take control of the bank's board and appointed a new board of directors. The banking watchdog claimed that the bank "violated the conditions that it should maintain transparent with an open partnership structure and organizational scheme."

However, some pro-government media outlets claimed that the BDDK's action was the seizure of the bank itself.

Bank Asya lawyer Ergün Özkan said the TMSF operation was carried out due to claims that the bank failed to provide necessary documents regarding its partnership structure and organizational scheme, stressing that the bank, however, should have been given a notification asking to provide these documents.

The government has waged a campaign to force Bank Asya out of business due to its ties with the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen-inspired Hizmet movement. Following severe corruption allegations against key government figures that surfaced on Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) convinced friendly firms as well as public institutions to withdraw deposits from the bank in order to damage its financial integrity. Throughout last year, the government took a variety of strikes at the lender, and at one point President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that the bank had “already sunk.”

Published on Today's Zaman, 04 February 2015, Wednesday