New Islamic banks ready to open soon

Turkey has begun to give new banking licenses after the 2001 banking crisis, with no exception for interest-free Islamic banks, called participation banks. The format of two participation banks which will be established by the state-run Banks Ziraat Bank and Halkbank, will be clearer in a few months. As of now four banks have operated in the participation banking industry: Bank Asya, Turkiye Finans, Albaraka Turk and Kuveyt Turk. They constitute 5.3 percent of the Turkish banking industry. The aim of the Participation Banks Association of Turkey is to triple the share of Islamic banking assets in Turkey by 2023. Besides, Ziraat Bank has been planning to set up a separate Islamic bank. Moreover, Turkish lender Halkbank appears to be the second bank to start offering sharia-compliant services under a new entity.