The Turkish Banking Sector Challenges and Outlook in Transition to EU Membership
The paper explores the readiness of the Turkish banking sector for integration into the European Union. We address the issue from four different angles. First, we review the present structure and health of the sector, including the state of the regulatory framework, providing where possible a comparative perspective with the larger EU accession countries. Second, we look at the sector’s financial solidity in 2003, with a view to gauging its readiness to adapt to a more challenging banking environment. Third, we look at the present obstacles to financial deepening and identify the most pressing issues that seem to hinder the sector’s growth. Fourth, we explore issues of productivity and efficiency in the sector. In a final section, we ask the question of whether the Turkish banking sector is or will be ready in due time for EU accession and formulate some policy recommendations. We conclude that in 2004 the Turkish banking sector compares well with those of the new members of the EU.