Turkey ran out of patience with banks – Erdoğan adviser

Turkey’s government has ran out of patience with banks, said Cemil Ertem, senior economic adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“We’ve reached the end of the road and our patience,” Ertem said in an interview with state-run TRT television on Friday, according to Vatan newspaper. “We are beyond the point of debating whether or not regulations are sufficient.”

Erdoğan’s government is calling on the nation’s banks to lower interest rates on loans, which have reached as much as 20 percent after inflation accelerated into double digits and opportunities to raise financing for additional lending waned.

The government is working on measures to ensure banks do not act like oligarchs and the sector should get its act together, starting with state-run banks, Ertem said.

Turkey’s credit guarantee fund, established by the government to distribute subsidised loans, should tell lenders to not give credits above certain rates of interest, he said.

One industrial group has borrowed over 12 months for its billions of dollars of investments abroad and the banking regulator should look into this, Ertem said.

Moody's, which downgraded Turkish debt once notch to two levels below investment grade this week, is acting like an economic hitman, he said.

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