Dünya - Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian banking group with operations in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, has become the 50th banking institution in Turkey to be issued a banking license by the Board of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey (BDDK).
The Italian lender will establish its first branch in Turkey with a starting share capital equivalent to USD 300 million, the minimum necessary legal capital for starting a banking business in Turkey.
The bank was reportedly interested in Turkish lenders Garanti and Finansbank for possible stake acquisitions before deciding to apply for a banking license under its own name in 2012.
BDDK granted its first new operating license to the Lebanese Bank Audi in 2011, after a period of 11 years. Having received a positive response to its application, Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s (BTMU) followed Bank Audi in late 2012, becoming the second foreign lender to be granted a Turkish banking license.
A crisis-tested financial system along with a sturdy and profitable banking sector have introduced many new players into Turkey in recent years. Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A (BBVA), Russia’s Sberbank, Kuwaiti Burgan are among the latest entrants in Turkey’s banking market. Istanbul’s bid to become an international financial center is also a key driver that lures multinational financial institutions to Turkey.