June 3, 2015

Rogue auditor team behind Bank Asya’s political takeover

It's come out that the takeover of publicly traded Bank Asya was carried out by a politically appointed auditor team with no qualifications.

Controversy continues on the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) seizure of the publicly-traded Islamic bank, and its placing it under the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund’s control (TMSF) on Friday, after the February 3 management takeover publicly demanded by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The auditor team behind the report leading to the TMSF takeover was brought into the equation in the last minute to act out the demands of Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency’s (BDDK) President Mehmet Ali Akben.

The fact that the TMSF did not use the bank's own auditors was irregular. The BDDK had previously used ten different auditors in the past year and a half who found nothing wrong with the publicly traded bank, which posted one of the best capital adequacy ratios in the sector.

More scandalously the two auditors have no background in banking or accounting whatsoever. For example, auditor Osman Uzun’s only previous work experience was in the distribution of the pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper, and as an imam.

The BDDK’s founder and former Finance Minister Zekeriya Temizel underscored that the BDDK’s attempt to put article 71 of the Turkish banking law into effect, “Revoking Operations Permissions or Transferring to the Fund,” to transfer the bank to the Savings Deposit and Insurance Fund (TMSF) last week could have not been justified. Critics underline that any condition requiring the takeover of the bank would have come from management at the TMSF.

In another development, Bank Asya’s customers once again stood strong, not running to the bank to withdraw, but instead showing solidarity. There were even individuals who were reportedly opening accounts, in scenes reminiscent of the aftermath of February’s management takeover.

Published on BGNNews, 03 June 2015, Wednesday