Turkey enforces new credit card limit rules

Turkey’s banking regulator enforced rules requiring banks to reduce credit card limits on the request of their customers.

The new regulations will now be written into cards’ conditions of use, meaning banks must act on customers’ requests within seven days, Milliyet newspaper reported citing the ruling by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK).

Credit card debt has grown exponentially since Turkey emerged from a financial crisis in 2001. Banks typically increase credit card limits without requesting the permission of their customers, encouraging more spending. Clients who fail to repay the debts face heavy charges, or banks encourage them to turn the debt into a consumer loan, freeing up the credit card for more spending.

Turkish banking customers typically hold more than one credit card and can own several.