Erdogan: resistance to cut mortgage rates is treason

Erdogan: resistance to cut mortgage rates is treason

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ratcheted up pressure on the nation’s banks, saying he would consider resistance to his calls to cut mortgage rates as an act of treason.

Banks will be held “accountable” should they “act negatively in the matter of loans and interest rates,” Erdogan told members of Turkey’s Exporters Association at his palace in Ankara on Wednesday. “I would consider it as treason if the banks don’t open the way for investors.”

Erdogan has demanded that lenders cut mortgage rates to an annual rate of about 9% from the market average of around 13.7% as he seeks to shore up the economy following the failed coup last month. 

Lenders TC Ziraat Bankasi AS, Sekerbank TAS, BNP Paribas unit Turk Ekonomi Bankasi AS as well as Denizbank AS, owned by Russia’s Sberbank, have all recently lowered interest charges to levels closer to what the president is demanding.