We left behind a challenging yet highly strategic year both for Turkey and the world. 2019 marked a significant year where recovery, growth, political and economic re-balancing followed a critical fluctuation triggered by the world trade wars, from the previous year, geopolitical developments in our region, local elections and currency movements in the economy.
While the trade wars continued in 2019 throughout the world, the change in the European Union was one of the focal points of the entire globe. The UK will formally leave the EU on January 31, 2020.
The rising indebtedness across the globe and slow-down in the global economy constituted other highlights of the year 2019. Particularly the trade wars between the USA and China caused a serious slow-down in the economy on a global scale. The winner of these wars is not known yet, while some moderation was observed later in 2019.
A look into the economic dimension of the change indicates that the digital technologies leveraged in the USA and China have grown tremendously and that Europe - and even Japan and South Korea - failed to keep up with such growth.
With all these developments, digitalization impacts our lives in a number of ways. Deployment of AI creates serious changes in social and economic life.
Yet we observe that global warming and climate change will constitute the number one agenda to be discussed the most in 2020. According to the Global Risk Report of World Economic Forum, climate change is the biggest risk awaiting the planet. The climate crisis was the number one topic of discussion at the World Economic Forum that took place in Davos in January 2020.
We witnessed a set of important developments in 2019 in our country as well. We left behind the local elections. We have entered a long period of no elections. Important military operations took place at the Syrian border. New political parties continue to be formed.
We observed an important economic recovery. The interest rates and inflation was lowered significantly. The economic growth is expected to be around 1% this year; however, we welcome 2020 with hope. We believe that we will reach the 5% growth target announced by the government, and the positive outcome of this achievement will be reflected to the unemployment rates as well.
Our bank and its affiliates performed very successfully despite the challenging circumstances in 2019.
As of December 31, 2019, the total assets reached TL 181 billion 681 million, while net loans reached TL 110 billion 683 million and customer deposits reached TL 100 billion 219 million.
Total equity of the bank increased by 15%, compared to the 2018 year-end, reaching TL 16 billion 685 million, as the capital adequacy ratio realized at 15.73% as of December 31, 2019.
In 2019, profit before taxes of the Bank amounted to TL 3 billion 180 million, while net period profit reached TL 2 billion 622 million.
We achieved many firsts in 2019. We prepared our first sustainability report by taking an action against the planet’s biggest issue, climate change. Sustainability is the biggest responsibility we all bear in order to leave a habitable world to the future generations—livable in terms of the environment, culture, and economy. To this end, our bank will continue to take significant steps in 2020, as well.
Tapping into our strong capital structure, we are sustaining our corporate social responsibility projects at full tilt. We continue to launch critical projects with our voluntary bankers under the roof of our “Small Hands Big Dreams” CSR Platform that we initiated to prepare our children for the future.
I, once again, would like to thank all my colleagues, clients and stakeholders that further grow QNB Finansbank.
Ömer A. Aras
QNB Finansbank A.Ş