Faced with high inflation, the CBRT raised the policy interest rate and tightened its monetary policy with a series of macroprudential measures.

Dear stakeholders,

2023 was a year in which central banks turned to tight monetary policies as they grappled with inflation and mounting geopolitical risks. Against a backdrop of high inflation in our country, the CBRT not only raised the policy interest rate but also tightened the monetary policy through a raft of macroprudential measures.

Tragically, our country was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2023, a year marked by negative developments abroad and a worsening geopolitical backdrop. We are still all deeply saddened by the February 6 earthquakes, which affected Kahramanmaraş and 10 surrounding provinces, wreaking massive damage and the heartbreaking loss of life of many of our citizens and dear colleagues.

In the wake of this painful incident, we unwaveringly maintained our Bank's activities in the region by establishing container branches as we sought to heal our wounds and support the rapid recovery of the region. In addition to the financial contribution we provided to the "Turkey One Heart" campaign and relevant institutions, we also provided convenience to the local people and our customers by offering deferments, grace periods and loans with preferential conditions.

Ziraat Bank continues to effectively provide the financial support necessary for the development of our country.

Our bank maintained its position as the sector’s leading bank in 2023 with assets reaching TL 3.8 trillion, cash loans approaching TL 2.0 trillion and non-cash loan size of approximately TL 0.8 trillion.

More than 70% of our cash loans consist of TL denominated loans, with 77% of our TL denominated loans used to finance the real sector. We continue to prioritize the fields of agriculture, exports, manufacturing, investment and SME financing in the financing of the real sector.

Approximately 43% of the TL loans we have provided to finance the real sector consist of agricultural loans. In line with our strategy of being an effective bank in financing the agricultural ecosystem, we achieved an expansion of approximately 90% in our agricultural loan volume in 2023.

Our Bank, which attaches particular importance to the financing of agricultural investments, follows a policy aimed at increasing added value and productivity in agriculture, reducing imports, improving industrialization and resolving structural problems. While financing the agricultural sector widely, we provide sustainable and accessible financing through effective structuring practices.

In addition, we design financing solutions to contribute to our country's sustainable growth through investment, employment, production and exports. We continue to focus on financing SMEs, which represent an important element in employment and production, by preparing product packages in cooperation with strategic institutions. We also continue to contribute to the current account balance through import substitution and support packages for high value-added product manufacturers and exporters.

Deposits remain the main source of financing of our Bank's balance sheet, with a 77% share.

We diversify our resource base with the non-deposit funds we obtain from abroad and use these resources to finance economic activity in our country. The total volume of these resources now exceeds USD 11 billion.

We successfully renewed our syndicated loan at a rate of 103% in 2023. We provided USD 0.6 billion of financing through the DPR program. We also extended resources through products such as the FX repo, Eurobond, post financing and bilateral agreements.

We offer non-banking products and services to our customers through our digital ecosystem development and platform banking activities.
We offer our country’s largest branch and ATM network. With an awareness that the future of banking lies in digital banking, we maintain our investments and development efforts in this area, with our number of active digital banking customers reaching 22 million. We constantly undertake innovations and improvements in terms of convenience and security in our Internet Branch and mobile banking applications.

The number of customers using the Super Branch - our Bank's digital branch - which offers individual customers simple, reliable, fast and easier access to all banking transactions through digital channels, has reached 750,000.

Within the scope of our digital ecosystem development and platform banking efforts, we have launched the Super Platform, where we offer non-banking products and services to our customers by collaborating with companies from various sectors, and the Z-Transformation Platform, which aims to contribute to the digitalization of our SMEs.

We received the establishment permit for our digital bank, Ziraat Dynamic Bank A.Ş., and brought the organizational structuring, process and system development to the final stages of completion. In addition, we received an operating licence for Ziraat Financial Technologies Electronic Money and Payment Services A.Ş. at the beginning of 2024.

We help our customers carry out their transactions much more easily and advantageously with the innovations we perform in the fields of credit cards, debit cards and member businesses.

We meet the financial needs of our customers as a whole with integrated solutions, backed by the synergy we have developed in line with our subsidiary strategy.

We provide financial services to both our local and global customers through our subsidiaries in domestically and our affiliate banks and branches abroad to meet their different financial needs. We continue to work on expanding the branch network in the countries we operate in abroad, as well as system and process improvements, converting some of our foreign branches into subsidiary banks and adding new countries to our portfolio.

We also took important steps in our Bank's sustainability efforts in 2023. By updating our Sustainability Policy and establishing our organizational structure in this field, we started to report on the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for the first time and accelerated our work in this direction. Our bank will maintain its practices in this field by closely keeping abreast of national and international developments in the coming period.

Aware of the responsibility that comes with being our country’s leading bank, Ziraat Bank is focused on stable growth. Our bank will step up its financial support to its customers in the coming periods, offer financial solutions that will provide high added value to our economy and our customers and will continue to operate with the devoted work of its personnel, which it views as its most important asset. While drawing strength from our past successes, we stand ready for the second century of our Republic by adhering to the principles that brought us this success.

Happy 100th anniversary for our Republic, and a happy 160th anniversary of our Bank!

Alpaslan ÇAKAR
Member of the Board of Directors and General Manager