Bank Asya demands immediate end to ‘illegal takeover’

Leading Turkish Islamic bank Bank Asya’s CEO Ahmet Beyaz has asked authorities to end an earlier takeover of the lender’s board, which he referred to as a politically motivated move. The management rights of publicly traded Bank Asya’s privileged shareholders, who have the right to nominate board members, were controversially taken over by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) in February, in yet another example of oppressive practices enga

Leading Turkish Islamic bank Bank Asya’s CEO Ahmet Beyaz has asked authorities to end an earlier takeover of the lender’s board, which he referred to as a politically motivated move.

The management rights of publicly traded Bank Asya’s privileged shareholders, who have the right to nominate board members, were controversially taken over by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) in February, in yet another example of oppressive practices engaged in by the government on dissenting voices and institutions. The illegal and political takeover of the bank, engineered by regulators loyal to the government, must immediately end, Beyaz told Buguumln TV on Thursday, demanding the return of the management’s shares to their rightful owners.

Beyaz asserted that that there was no valid reason for the takeover

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) had claimed that Bank Asya failed to submit information regarding the founding partners and changes in the shareholding structure on time. Beyaz addressed this, saying: Even though we had submitted documentation pertaining to 53 percent of the shares, they only processed 37 percent.

As of today we have handed over 90 percent of the information to the BDDK. hellip The BDDK already has the documentation pertaining to the Group A shareholders.

He added, A total of 30 teams of auditors have inspected our bank and have not been able to find any sound proof or documentation of wrongdoing.

eyaz’s comments come amid increased warnings from international agencies over growing uncertainty in the Turkish banking sector Earlier this month, the ratings agency Standard and Poor’s warned that actions against Bank Asya illustrated quotthe potential for political risk, or the perception of it, to directly or indirectly spill over into the financial systemquot.

Separately on Wednesday, rival agency Moody’s said its outlook for Turkey’s banking system is quotnegativequot for the second consecutive year, blaming slow economic growth and currency volatility. The banking watchdog said earlier this month that Turkey’s TMSF had seized preferred shares in Bank Asya held by a publishing company and a construction firm, citing irregularities in the sale of their parent company, Kaynak Holding, to a Dutch firm in January.

Beyaz said he expected that the problem with the regulators could be solved soon, adding that 400 legal cases had been filed by the bank’s shareholders against the takeover The bank seeks a solution abroad as well.

On Tuesday, Bank Asya shareholders lodged a complaint with the global headquarters of independent auditing firm Ernst and Young, accusing the Turkish branch of the company of avoiding commenting on improper financial statements drawn up by the bank’s interim board.

The shareholders argue that Ernst and Young Turkey, which had expressed a positive opinion when it had monitored the balance sheet of the bank and its affiliates in the previous two years, had failed to evaluate the bank’s balance sheet in March. The shareholders of Bank Asya are known for their ties to the faith-based Guumllen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN