June 4, 2015

Bank Asya’s performance proves state fund’s seizures unjust

Former Bank Asya board member Dr. Erhan Birgili, last Friday’s politically-backed seizure of the publicly by a state fund which had previously took over the management in February.

Speaking to Bugün daily, Birgili echoed financial market experts that the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund’s (TMSF) takeover of the publicly-traded Islamic Bank Asya could have no legal basis whatsoever, as best demonstrated by the bank’s performance and financials.

“The bank has enough liquidity of the bank and its capital is strong; plus there have been no mishaps in the processing of bank customers’ transactions. The first quarter of 2015 the bank has profited. Added to all of this is the fact that the bank has continued its operations under the TMSF, already indicates how the takeover was wrong.”

Birgili also called upon the management to be returned to its rightful owners, re-emphasizing that the February 3 takeover of the bank’s management, on grounds of lack of disclosure on information pertaining to founding shareholders, had been equally unjustified. Even though the bank had submitted documentation pertaining to 53 percent of the shares, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency had only processed 37 percent, citing this as a reason for the overhaul.

“As of today 92 percent of the partners' information has been completed; therefore the management needs to be handed back as soon as possible…We will fight on all legal fronts in Turkey and the international arena to have the lawless decision be revoked, for damages to be paid," he said.

The former board member also took time to thank the bank’s customers, who stood behind their bank and not heeding to pressures or withdrawing. “They deserve all the respect for the strong stance they have taken, and we hope they continue the same calm and composure. I would once again like to extend my gratitude towards them.”

Former CEO’s Abdullah Çelik also echoed Birgili’s sentiments on the seizure stating, “One cannot take over a bank whose capital adequacy ratio. The entire incident shows that the TMSF does not know what it is doing and that the decision was purely political.”

Bank Asya had long been subject to political attacks prior to even the February management overhaul with President Erdoğan even stated that the bank had failed, despite the fact that the publicly traded Islamic lender had one of the best capital adequacy ratios of the sector. Defamatory rumors published by pro-government press, over the past year, have been challenged, but unpunished

TMSF holds no rights over shares

On a note the TMSF’s 30 May disclosure, a day after the seizure, on the state’s Official Gazette, has stated that the fund holds no control over the rights of the shares belonging to the partner; which implies that the TMSF’s seizure alone could not be justified.

Published on BGNNews, 4 June 2015, Thursday