Turkish Central Bank looking for new governor

HAZAL ATEŞ
ANKARA
Published 22.03.2016 22:10

A new governor will be appointed to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CRBT) when current CRBT Governor Erdem Başçı's term ends on April 19. If Erdem Başçı is not reappointed by a cabinet decree and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's approval, he will preside over the CRBT Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the last time, tomorrow.

The Banks' Association of Turkey President and Ziraat Bankası General Manager Hüseyin Aydın, Deputy CRBT Governor Murat Çetinkaya, Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) President Şakir Ercan Gül and CRBT Monetary Policy Committee Member Ahmet Faruk Aysan stand out as the strongest candidates. Also, Murat Yülek, who was a previous candidate for the president of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), is a candidate for the CRBT governorship.

Başcı has held the office since 2011. According to those in-the-know, Başcı's reappointment is unlikely due to frequent criticism of his interest rate policies. After graduating from Boğaziçi University, Murat Çetinkaya began his banking career in Albaraka Türk, an Islamic lender, and has broad experience in treasury and international banking. Ahmet Faruk Aysan has been on the CRBT's administrative board since 2011. Apart from Başçı, the duty terms of four out of the seven-member Monetary Policy Committee will end this year. Since the committee's determined interest rates have frequently sparked criticism, all members of the committee will be replaced with the exception of two. The incumbency of three deputy governors; namely, Turalay Kenç, Necati Şahin and Mehmet Yörükoğlu, will end in April and June, ending their five-year incumbency.

The administration committee includes one governor and four deputy governors. In addition to these five figures, the committee includes Ahmet Faruk Aysan, who is in the bank assembly contingent, and Abdullah Yavaş, who was appointed via a concurrent resolution. Aysan's term in office will end on May 1. If Başçı is not reelected, the newly appointed governor will be able to form his team. If the outgoing staff is completely replaced, the board structure will see vast changes. Tomorrow's CRBT Monetary Policy Committee meeting has come under the spotlight since the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) revised its interest rate hike road map and reduced the interest rate increase from 4 points to 2 points. It remains to be seen how Başçı will act in his last monetary policy committee meeting. Markets anticipate a discount on the upper band of the interest rate corridor.

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