Capital'e abone olun.

Banking has lost a little momentum

ERSİN ÖZİNCE's resignation as general manager of İş Bankası attracted a lot of attention.

Son Güncelleme: 01.07.2011

His departure was interpreted as a criticism of the policies pursued by those in charge of the economy. In fact, he wanted to try something new; to busy himself with soil, water and nature. The bank did not abandon him. He continues to serve as the chair of its board of directors. Ozince says that he has not had any disagreements with those responsible for running the economy. He stresses that he has not faced any political pressure at any time during his career. But Ozince believes that banking is continuing to come under pressure. "The banking sector in Turkey has been very successful," he says. "But I believe that it has a lost a little momentum as a result of the political and economic agenda."• 

Capital: You are currently chair of the board of directors. What is your tempo of work like?
- At İş Bankası we have a collective understanding of capital. We are very attached to our traditions. Now I am again working very intensively. As you know, a bank's board of directors has a lot of responsibilities and duties. The second is that Şişecam's vision has broadened considerably. As a result, I really spend a lot of time working as board chair of these two large institutions. I mean, I can't find the chance to do what I really wanted and busy myself with mountains, and livestock and my hobbies.

Capital: There were a lot of discussions about you stepping down as general manager. What was really behind the timing?
- Before anything else, there were two concrete reasons for me stepping down as general manager and as head of the Banks' Association of Turkey. The first is that I had been determined for several years to take such a decision. For no other reason than there comes a time at İş Bankası, or any other institution, when a general manager's term comes to an end, a general assembly is held and he or she steps down. I also announced at the traditional press conference on the day of İş Bankası's general assembly that I was resigning. There is no need to attribute this to any other reason. I did not face any political pressure for this or that reason.

Capital: So what is the real explanation for the statements you made which were misinterpreted?
- I want Turkey to grow, to develop and be liberal in every sense of the word. I am not saying this as a banker but as a citizen who is more than 50 years old, has children, has no other passport except from the Republic of Turkey, who loves people and believes that people love him. I want us to continue with the contemporary standards that we deserve. None of the speeches I made had a political purpose. I have no intention of becoming involved in politics by making statements such as "it is absurd for the government of the Central Bank to busy himself with the headscarf" or "banking is not the place for detective measures". What I understood by detective measures was this: I am head of the Banks Association and I have been a banker for 30-odd years. During 2010, I spent eleven months trying to clear myself of charges of embezzlement. This is embarrassing. If you make a law which can be misinterpreted, then this is what happens. What I was really concerned about was this: The Republic of Turkey should be transparent. It should move forward, not with threats and blows, but with rules and regulations, with norms that are announced in advance and accepted by everyone.  

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