The Turkish financial sector proved neutral during the global financial chaos in 2009 as well as the ensuing economic crisis thanks to the regulatory reforms and structural overhaul that the government implemented in the wake of the country’s own financial meltdown in the early 2000’s.
In fact, the reforms in the sector boosted investor confidence so much that financial services has become the preferred sector for FDI, attracting USD 48 billion during the past 14 years.
Banking dominates the Turkish financial sector, accounting for over 70 percent of overall financial services, while insurance services and other financial activities also show significant growth potential. The banking sector’s asset size grew to more than TL 2.3 trillion in 2015. There are 53 banks in Turkey (34 deposit banks, 13 development and investment banks, 6 participation banks). Out 53 banks, 21 hold significant foreign capital (30% of total assets are held by foreign investors).
Turkey has specific economic targets to achieve by 2023, the centennial of the Republic. One of these targets is to transform Istanbul into an important financial center. Turkey’s large and young population, qualified labor force and rapidly developing markets along with its geo-strategic location makes Istanbul an ideal candidate for an international financial hub. Since, the government launched the project for Istanbul Financial Center, Istanbul has rapidly made progress and is now considered among emerging financial centers in the world.