ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish regulator said on Monday it lowered deposit banks’ asset ratio to 95% from 100%, easing a rule set in April in the face of coronavirus that effectively forced private banks to lend more and buy more government debt.
The decision had been expected after a meeting last week – when the Turkish lira plunged to a historic low – between bankers and Turkish authorities who had hinted at flexibility.
The BDDK banking watchdog on Monday made a handful of adjustments meant to help lenders cover their ratios, which could provide leeway as the central bank moves to tighten credit channels in the face of the currency depreciation.
The asset ratio required for Islamic banks was eased to 75% from 80%, the statement said.
April’s decision was also designed to protect the economy from fallout from the pandemic, which prompted the government to ramp up borrowing.