Harsher sanctions looming for cheating banks in Turkey

HAZAL ATEŞ
ANKARA
Published 23.11.2015 21:00
Updated 23.11.2015 22:02
Harsher sanctions looming for cheating banks in Turkey

Some banks have been taking advantage of certain loopholes in legal regulations about opening accounts, credits, interests and repayments. The Banking, Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA) is responding to such false pretenses with harsh penalties. It was recently revealed that certain Turkish banks have been using the personal information of clients who took credit from the bank to open a family account in an inappropriate manner. Penalties will soon be levied against those banks that open family accounts, issue additional cards and sell the personal information to other entities without the consent of the client. Some of these penalties include dismissal, the cancellation of licenses and the public announcement of the illegal transactions in which the bank engaged.

Some banks have made their clients grow tired of their various attempts to increase revenues. While the BRSA has been preparing to launch an action plan in order to protect the rights of clients, the Customs and Trade Ministry began examining the compliance of the banks to the Consumer Law. Through the action plan, seeking to protect financial consumers by increasing the severity of the planned sanctions, the unethical actions taken by the banks for their clients will be prevented. Thus, the main objective of the action plan is to impose very harsh sanctions on noncompliant banks in order to protect consumers. In addition, the BRSA has been expanding its online system in order to follow and respond to consumer complaints by finding quick and effective solutions.

The Customs and Trade Ministry initiated the examination of the 30 banks that operate in Turkey by taking complaints about credit card fees into consideration. After it was determined that some banks did not act in accordance with the Consumer Law, penalties of TL 150 million ($52.72 million) were levied on those noncompliant banks.

Other precautions will also be taken in order to protect the personal information of clients, such as personal information will not be sold even if consent is given by clients. Moreover, even harsher sanctions will be imposed on those institutions that do not comply with these regulations. Lastly, in order for a bank to reveal a client's personal information, the client will have to issue a written request.

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