Message from the Chairman
2020 has been a year that the humanity fought back with enormous commitment, solidarity and unity to overcome the many hardships the year presented Turkey and the World with. Due to the Covid‑19 pandemic that still continues to influence various aspects of life, the World economies were severely tested with unprecedented challenges, and global markets strove to deal with the kinds of crises never experienced before.
In addition to the pandemic and its impacts, the Brexit process, the United States presidential elections, natural disasters in Turkey and in various parts of the world, regional clashes and civil disturbances that the year featured reveal how extremely challenging 2020 has been.
For Turkey, 2020 was characterized by the Covid‑19 pandemic, against which our country’s struggle continues, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, the Mediterranean and our country’s own sphere and volatilities in international markets. Backed by its young and dynamic population, strong healthcare system, efficient and productive manufacturing network and experienced banking sector, Turkey was positively decoupled from many countries in the world, despite the difficulties. As Turkey gradually eliminated the hardships handed by 2020, it was able to capture economic growth, thanks to the attentive approach of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BRSA), Treasury and other governmental agencies, which was shaped according to the course of the pandemic. Although the pandemic heightened once again and some restrictions were enforced towards the end of the year, implementations compatible with the market conditions were reintroduced, reinstating the regular order of the economy.
Through this period that has been the scene to unmatched and unprecedented developments Turkish public authorities and the Turkish private sector kept spending their best efforts to maintain the balances within the Turkish economy. While the policies announced were aimed at ensuring the continuity of the domestic market, the banking sector kept implementing the Credit Guarantee Fund packages extending support to the SMEs, and deferred repayments of loans by customers, should they so need. Moreover, the BRSA stretched legal requirements in an effort to mitigate the pandemic’s effects upon the financial sector, and provided support to bank customers and the banking sector through this hard time.
Taking the necessary actions to support this struggle with the awareness of its place and responsibility in the Turkish economy, the banking sector kept standing by the customers who needed, while continuing to offer services uninterruptedly. During 2020, total loans of the banking sector expanded by 33.4% annually to TL 3,405 billion. In the same period, the deposits base enlarged 33.1% to reach TL 3,288 billion. Due to revised classification rules, non‑performing loans ratio of the sector improved by 123 bps since the beginning of the year, and was registered as 4.0%.
Besides its contribution to our economy and the banking sector through these dire times that we are going through, Yapı Kredi continues to regard the safety of its employees as its primary and most important priority. The Bank’s services offered with strict adherence to safety continue uninterruptedly, on the back of new working rules that the Bank has been carefully implementing since the first day of the emergence of the pandemic in Turkey, measures targeted at maximum protection of employee health, and protective gear provided on an ongoing basis to each unit of the Bank.
Driven by its vision to create value for the society, Yapı Kredi pursues its operations ensuring environmental compatibility, taking the society’s expectations into consideration, and looking out for the needs of future generations. With this consciousness, being the bank that “eliminates the borders” in Turkey, Yapı Kredi integrates its pioneering and powerful position in the sector and responsible growth concept with sustainability.
Recognizing its responsibilities with respect to management of environmental and social impacts, our Bank continues to exhibit a high performance in sustainability management. Along this line, in the reporting period, Yapı Kredi remained a constituent of Borsa İstanbul (BIST) Sustainability Index and FTSE4Good Emerging Markets Index, an index measuring environmental, social and governance performances of companies maintained by FTSE Russel, a global index provider affiliated to the London Stock Exchange. The Bank continued to act as a pioneer in gender equality and women employment, earned the Equal Opportunities Certification (FEM), which is a gender equality certification developed under the leadership of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER) and the technical assistance of the World Bank, and has been one of the five companies from Turkey to qualify for being included in 2021 Bloomberg Gender‑Equality Index.
In 2020, Yapı Kredi diversified its funding sources made available to renewable energy projects by carrying out its first green bond issuance in the amount of USD 50 million, which is compliant with the Green Bond Principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and market standards. In the reporting period, the Bank also published its Sustainability Bond Framework, which is aligned with the ICMA Green Bond Principles, ICMA Social Bond Principles, and ICMA Sustainability Bond Guidelines.
On another note, our Bank continued to make life easier for its customers during the pandemic, thanks to numerous innovations it has introduced to the banking sector. The Bank made use of technology so as to add value to the lives of its customers and employees alike, based on an approach that puts the human at the center. Thanks to its continual investments in the area of digital banking, Yapı Kredi has been by the side of all its stakeholders and was able to eliminate the borders for them through these rough times as well.
In the light of all these developments, we foresee that digital transformation will get faster and become more prevalent in people’s lives in the period ahead. With the digital infrastructures that are constantly developed and upgraded, our Bank will adjust to new circumstances in the shortest time possible, and will keep pioneering the sector, while continuing to effectively satisfy customer expectations with its high quality services.
Also in 2021, Yapı Kredi will preserve its solid banking indicators by focusing on a healthy balance sheet structure and continue to stand by its customers, employees, the Turkish banking sector and all its stakeholders all around the country with the services it offers. With its customer‑centric service that the Bank has been maintaining for 76 years as part of its identity, and with its commitment to its environmental, social and governance responsibility, Yapı Kredi will continue to extend support in every aspect it is capable of contributing to through the uncertain and rough times experienced.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their unyielding support and trust, our valuable shareholders, and in particular, all our employees for enriching our values with their committed and hard work in this rough period, and their families.
Ali Y. Koç
Chairman of the Board