Credit card restrictions divert Turks to consumer loans
by Anadolu Agency
ISTANBULApr 12, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Apr 12, 2015 12:00 am
With the limitation of credit card debt installments implemented by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the number of consumer loans has increased.
According to data compiled from BDDK data by an Anadolu Agency reporter, the amount of consumer loans was TL 68.8 billion ($26.17 billion) at the end of January 2013 and increased TL 17.9 billion reaching TL 86.7 billion at the end of January 2014. With the BDDK's ban on the sale of certain items by installment was implemented on Feb. 1, 2014, the amount of consumer loans increased by 74.4 percent between Feb. 1, 2014 and Feb. 1, 2015, reaching TL 151.3 billion.
Manager of Banking Research Center at the Istanbul University, Assistant Professor Kadir Tuna said the main reason behind such limitation was to decrease the demand in fundamental personal spending.
"When we look at the applications in the world, we see there are some restrictions on the use of credit cards as financial instruments. Credit cards are actually not financial instruments, excluding urgent needs. While the main purpose of credit cards is to reduce the burden of carrying cash, in Turkey, people started using credit cards as a source of funding. Therefore, the behaviors of consumers were also shaped accordingly. For example, even though making installments on daily needs such as food and fuel might initially seem advantageous for consumers, they are posing risks for the long term," he said.
He further said that while there is nothing wrong with selling cellphones and jewelry with installments, 12-month installments highly increased the number of sales, and therefore, the import of cellphones.