Does increasing foreign control in the banking sector have an impact on banks’ loan rates? : evidence from Turkey
Topaloğlu Bozkurt, Ayça
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Foreign bank presence has been a growing trend in Turkey since 2000. Considering the fact that almost all of the entries are through acquisition of small-sized banks in the industry, we argue that this kind of a foreign entry to the Turkish banking sector may have little impact on the productivity or efficiency of the banking sector. We hypothesize that these banks have exercised very aggressive pricing strategies to benefit from growing loan demand for commercial loans, personal loans, vehicle and housing loans.Thus, in the thesis, we study the association between foreign bank presence and loan prices in the Turkish banking sector during the time period between December 2002 and September 2016. Different than previous studies, we use unique data, i.e., weighted average loan interest rates for commercial, personal, vehicle and housing loans of 19 deposit banks that was collected by Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Empirical results indicate that the foreign presence has a significant impact on the lending rates of Turkish banking sector regardless of the loan type. The impact is seen to be higher for large banks compared to small banks. We also find that the direction of the relation is varying among loan types. Particularly, there exist a negative relation between foreign presence and lending rates of commercial loans and a positive relation with vehicle and housing loans. Beyond a certain level of foreign presence, a competitive pricing in the credit market is found to reverse its direction suggesting regulatory agencies to monitor new foreign entries in Turkey.