Number of lira millionaires up 22 pct, inequality persists

The number of depositors who have TL 1 million or more in their accounts with Turkish lenders surged by 21.9 percent, year-on-year, to reach 86,177 in June, and the total amount of money they hold has surpassed half the total deposits held at banks, indicating a growing inequality in income distribution.
According to statistics recently released by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the number of depositors rose 9.1 percent and became 61.8 million as of June 1. The total amount of money deposited with Turkish banks also increased by 17.8 percent to reach TL 1.08 trillion. According to the BDDK, 50.6 percent of this amount, or TL 550 billion, is held by TL millionaires, who make up only 0.14 percent of the number of depositors, suggesting an expanding inequality regarding income distribution in the country.
The share of those who hold up to TL 10,000, reportedly 58.6 million people, was 3.7 percent of total deposits, with these deposits amounting collectively to TL 40.6 billion.
Equal distribution of income has long been an issue, with the country ranked third on a scale of income inequality among the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2012. The countryand’s lopsided tax system, which draws two-thirds of its revenue from indirect taxes, while collecting only a small portion of income tax from wealthier people, is widely blamed for Turkeyand’s social inequality.
The BDDK also revealed that the amount of gold deposited in Turkish banks recorded a 30 percent decline during the last six months. While a total of $16.3 billion was held in gold deposit accounts at the end of 2014, the corresponding amount has slumped to $11.4 billion as of July 1, displaying a $4.9 billion gap.
Market analysts have noted that recent fluctuations in commodity prices have prompted a shift from investments in gold to forex markets or the housing industry. Lenders are also not inclined to encourage their customers to deposit their mattress-savings after they failed to attract them last year, the analysts have said.