2020 has unfortunately made a start with a great global pandemic that will make a stamp in history. As of 2020, we are hearing the footsteps of a new era in human and economic relations at a global scale.
We have not yet started to tackle the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, which is anticipated to bring along an economic impact similar to that of the world wars. The world is still seeking ways to keep the outbreak under control.
In such a period, projections and forecasts can only be based on the signals the World Health Organization gives to us. We all base our plans on the projection that the strict quarantine measures across the world will be loosened incrementally as of June, when people will gradually start going back to their daily routines.
The world will take a new turn in the second half of the year. All national economies and financial systems will take a new shape in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. The World Bank and IMF are also looking to develop a new global economic model in this period. Although it is essential to restructure economies according to the new situation, access to funding channels to support such efforts, particularly in developing countries, is getting harder. Therefore, international institutions have a significant duty to assume. Matters such as effective and timely distribution of limited funds, coordination for the most appropriate economy policies, and raised awareness on potential risks will define the speed and long-lasting impact of recovery.
We are going through days when countries and even cities isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Since cross-border trade almost came to a halt, supply chains will run via local resources for a while longer. Finance and services industries, as well as the business world will build and maintain a digital future. The second half of 2020 will be restructured with limited business and tourism activities and locally-intensive supply chain management activities.
In Turkey, we also make our plans according to the prediction that the lockdown measures will be loosened and social isolation measures will be removed slowly and in a controlled manner. At first, our work and daily lives will incrementally get back to normal. However, this process will span over a period. Starting with our lives going back to normal, the most important fight will begin. In Turkey, our priorities will be to reduce unemployment and to help the real sector recover.
It is also quite clear that the coming period after the outbreak will be marked by a new economic and banking model. We will witness an even more widespread use of digital banking services, while call center activities will also increase and human health will become our number one priority. Taking all these developments into account, a robust banking industry will play the most important role to help Turkey’s economy recover quickly, and with minimum harm.
At QNB Finansbank, we are proud to have solid financial statements in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. As of March 31, 2020, the Bank’s total assets reached TRY 205 billion 735 million, with a 13% increase compared to the year-end figures. In the same period, net loans extended by the Bank grew 9%, totaling TRY 120 billion 897 million, while customer deposits recorded a 16% hike which corresponded to TRY 116 billion 377 million, compared to the 2019 year-end. The net interest income in the first 3 months of 2020 increased by 43% year-on-year, reaching TRY 2 billion 402 million, and the net fee and commission revenues rose 4% to TRY 654 million. The Bank’s profit before tax amounted to TRY 918 million, while net profit for the period was TRY 766 million. As of March 31, 2020, the Bank’s total equities reached TRY 16 billion 28 million and the capital adequacy ratio was 15.11%
At QNB Finansbank, we have taken quick action to primarily protect our employees’ and customers’ health as part of our fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. We maintained our pioneering position in the sector, through introducing on-call branch practices, allowing limited number of customers inside branches, and swiftly adopting home working models. Working in harmony with the Head Office, regions, branches and subsidiaries, we have provided uninterrupted and secure services and stood by our customers in this challenging period.
Beyond all the measures we implemented, our teamwork and solidarity were the most important. Once again, I would like to express my gratitude to our financiers, customers and stakeholders for their contributions to this achievement.
Ömer A. Aras
QNB Finansbank A.Ş