Banking in Turkey

One of the most popular questions we get asked from our clients is whether they need a bank account in Turkey after they purchase their property through Kingsman Estates. In this post, we will provide a general guide regarding banking in Turkey so you know how to navigate through the banking system in Turkey and know what to expect. 

We absolutely recommend anyone with links in Turkey to open a bank account. When you are in Turkey you will have to pay household bills, pay taxes and make transactions. Also, you should definitely not miss out on high-interest rates provided by Turkish banks. 

After the financial crisis in 2008, banking in Turkey went through large structural reforms that massively improved the banking systems. Making banking in Turkey a competitive powerhouse in the region. 

All these structural improvements and regulations regarding the requirements on Turkish banks to have English-speaking staff brought general conditions in banking for foreigners to a level where various services for investors around the world are provided in Turkish banks through private, state, and Islamic banks in Turkey. There are very distinct advantages when it comes to being part of banking in Turkey for foreigners who have links in Turkey. 

The official currency in Turkey is called the Turkish Lira and it is available in 5,10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 notes. 100 kurus make 1 lira coin and coins are available in 5, 10, 25, 50 kurus. 

Services Provided By Banking In Turkey

There is a wide range of services provided by Turkish banks both for residents and non-resident foreigners including business and corporate banking services. Corporate banking for foreigners is beyond the scope of this post so please contact us for more information regarding business banking in Turkey.

Personal Banking Services

Current Accounts

A current account is the most basic account you can have in Turkey. It will allow you to access your funds for day to day transactions and payments. You may choose to have a Turkish Lira or a foreign currency current account. Current accounts in Turkey include ATM services, telephone and internet banking and debit card. If you are looking to enjoy high-interest rates, current accounts are not the best option as these accounts are used for daily transactions. Please be aware that some transactions like sending money in and out of Turkey might cost you money. 

Savings Accounts

These accounts are for long term investments and they are very popular among the expat and international investor community. This is due to the very competitive interest rates provided by Turkish banks. In 2021 general interest rate is 19% but please check the actual figures with your bank to get the updated value. There are few things you need to be aware of savings accounts in Turkey.

If you earn interest you will be subject to paying taxes in Turkey regardless of your residency. This rate is calculated on a progressive basis according to the level of profits and the length of your investment period. Also, note that if you decide to use the money before the investment period is over there will be penalties regarding the amount of interest earned in these accounts. 

Credit Cards

Plenty of banks in Turkey are willing to offer their clients credit cards. Mastercard and Visa cards are the most popular. However please be aware that getting a credit card as a foreigner is not very easy in Turkey. You might be asked to have assets in Turkey as well as providing stable income from your job or business. 

Choosing Your Bank In Turkey

If you are a foreigner you should definitely aim to achieve certain attributes when choosing a bank in Turkey. 

  • Availability and abundance of ATM’s near your location
  • English speaking staff both on telephone banking and branches
  • English mobile app and internet banking
  • English ATM availability

Having these attributes to your bank is absolutely essential when choosing a bank and it will make your life a lot easier as you will be removing a huge part of the learning process you will go through when you move to Turkey. After achieving these the next step is to make sure you get the best benefits regarding the financials. So the interest rates provided by your bank can be a factor when choosing your bank in Turkey. Most banks in Turkey do have English speaking staff especially in touristy areas like Antalya and other big cities so unless you live in a really small village you should be fine. 

Bank Opening Times In Turkey

Bank branches usually open from 8:30 am to 5 pm in Turkey and they work from Monday to Friday. However, you will have access to internet banking 24/7 unless they are going through an update on their website. Most banks have extended hours of telephone banking when compared to their branch working hours but services vary from bank to bank.

Safety Of Your Money In Turkish Banks

Money is hard to acquire so it is inevitable that foreigners wonder whether their money is safe in Turkey. Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) is the official board in Turkey that regulates the number of money banks needs to guarantee all their customers. TMSF dictates all banks to guarantee 150.000 Turkish Lira to all banks clients.  So if you have more than that amount you can work with various banks and divide the money so the total amount of your wealth would be safe in Turkey in case banks default. 

HSBC is one of the biggest brands out there when it comes to banking. It has what we might call a global outreach. HSBC has fantastic English service both in branches as well as internet banking. However please understand that you will not be able to make a query about your Turkish account in any other country like the UK. 

Yapi Kredi is another bank that provides decent services for international investors. Yapi Kredi is the fourth largest bank in Turkey with over 900 branches throughout Turkey. 

You may also choose state-owned banks in Turkey such as Ziraat, Halk and VakifBank as well as of the Islamic banks such as QNB Finansbank and Kuveyt Turk.

Kingsman Estates Antalya After-Sale Services –  Banking In Turkey

When you purchase your property through Kingsman Estates, our dedicated team at our investor centre will help you with the entire process from start to finish. One of the after-sale services we provide for our customers is opening a bank account for our clients. Since we have a large stream of customers who open bank accounts in Turkey we have great relationships with banks and often are able to secure much better deals as well as smoother service when compared to individual investors going to banks on their own without prior connections and banking history in Turkish banks. 

Table Of Banks In Turkey For Foreigners

İşbankİşbank | Turkey’s First National Bank | Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş
DenizbankMobil DenizBank: US Hayat Deniz’de Güzel!
GarantiGaranti BBVA
ZiraatTC Ziraat Bankası
QNB Finansbank (Islamic)QNB Finansbank Bankacılık ve Finans Hizmetleri
Kuveyt Türk (Islamic)Ana Sayfa | Kuveyt Türk Katılım Bankası

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