British banking giant HSBC has deemed the news published in several media outlets regarding a planned exit from Turkey as speculation and has abstained from commenting.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, officials from HSBC's headquarters in London and HSBC Turkey stated that "we do not comment on this kind of speculation."
Several Turkish and foreign media outlets had published news last week that HSBC is planning to leave Turkey, following Citibank, and that new mergers and acquisitions were ahead in the Turkish banking sector.
HSBC had entered the Turkish market in 1990 in the commercial banking field, and has operated in retail banking since 1997. The bank enlarged its Turkish operation by buying former Demirbank during the 2001 Turkish economic crisis, thus becoming one of the earliest foreign players of the Turkish retail banking sector.
Although the bank performed lower than market expectations, HSBC currently employs 5,649 employees in Turkey and has 311 branches throughout the country with three million customers.