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Message From Chairperson

We build life-long and successful partnerships with all our stakeholders through understanding and best fulfilling their needs

Dear Shareholders,

Our country left behind a challenging year, in which we experienced the February 6 earthquake disaster, went through a volatile period with the general elections and developments in the economy and faced escalating geopolitical risks in our region first with the Russia-Ukraine War and then with the Israel-Palestine War. 

Especially the February 6 Earthquake imposed important tasks on us. In this earthquake, we experienced the importance of our previous decision to locate all our branches in earthquake-resistant buildings during this earthquake. Our branches were among the least affected by the earthquake, but we lost our employees and family members. I would like to express my condolences here again to all our employees and their families. 

Our bank launched the Integrated Disaster Management Project in order to ensure that we fulfill our responsibilities in the best possible manner. Under this project, we are working to strenghthen our personal and corporate resilience. We have set our goal as zero loss of life and zero business interruption in future earthquakes.

On the other hand, 2023 was also a year of great importance for us. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye. We showed how determined we, as a whole country, are to ensure that the Republic survives forever. 

While the world started last year with the agenda of fighting inflation, signals of a slowdown in demand started to be seen on the back of the interest rate hikes in the preceding two years. The IMF estimates that the global growth, which realized at 3.5% in 2022, will fall to 3% in 2023 and then reach 2.9% in 2024. Consequently, as inflation rates are approaching towards the targets, Central Banks are expected to start their easing cycle towards the mid-year. 

It seems that this year's agenda will be marked by the elections that will take place in many countries, especially in the USA.

The main theme of the World Economic Forum held in January 2024 was "Rebuilding Trust". This year, the Forum's important topics included energy transformation, artificial intelligence, elections, possible epidemics, and cyber-attacks. The most important outcomes of the meeting were to rapidly increase efforts to protect the climate and nature, to ensure that technological developments are inclusive, and to take action to revitalize the cooperation needed to invest in people and fair opportunities. 

In our country, we started 2023 with volatile economic conditions and uncertainties in the markets. However, after the General Elections, the financial discipline policies implemented by the new economic management team and the measures taken for the markets yielded positive results. The most concrete example has been the reduction in the country risk premium. We foresee a gradual decline in inflation in the medium term, thanks to Türkiye's stance prioritizing balancing and stability in economic policies in the second half of last year.

In my message at the end of last year, I stated our most important goal for 2023 as "Expanding the customer base in all segments and channels by offering products and services that make life easier." Looking at the 2023 year-end figures, I see that we have successfully achieved this goal.

As of 31 December 2023, the Bank's total assets increased by 64%, compared to year-end of 2022, reaching TL 987 billion 817 million. In the same period, net loans rose 66% to TL 571 billion 44 million, and customer deposits grew by 58% to reach TL 606 billion 466 million. In 2023, the Bank's net profit realized at TL 33 billion 172 million. 

In addition to our thriving financial growth in 2023, our bank reinforced its pioneering role by introducing influential products and services in digitalization, sustainability, and SME banking. 

In 2023, QNB Finansbank made its first subordinated (Tier II) bond issuance in foreign markets in November with a nominal value of USD 300 million. The Bank also renewed its syndicated loans worth 829 million USD in two separate periods during the year, in compliance with sustainability criteria. These transactions were an indication of the trust in our bank and the Turkish economy, as well as QNB Finansbank's devotion to sustainability efforts. 

Our bank continues to base its corporate social responsibility efforts on contributions to children's education. Immediately after the earthquake, we launched the Small Hands Big Dreams Education Scholarship worth of TL 36 million in cooperation with the Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) and the Turkish Education Association (TED), so that the education of the children affected by the earthquake would not be interrupted. On the occasion of celebrating the 100th anniversary of our Republic, we took action again for education. As part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Republic of Türkiye, we launched the "Renovation of 100 schools in earthquake-affected areas" project in cooperation with UNICEF.

Our Gender Equality projects also left their mark on this year. We took our place in the 2023 edition of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, which reports data on gender equality in the workplace. We published the "Gender Equality Guide" in compliance with UN SDG 5 - Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs). As another breakthrough in the banking industry, we publicly announced in the Guide our commitment by specifying the 'Gender Equality-Sensitive Banking Principles'. We will continue to work relentlessly on this issue. 

In 2023, we continued to carry out corporate social responsibility activities in line with our sustainability mission. As the main sponsor of the 'Nature Pioneers Youth Programme', realized in cooperation with WWF-Türkiye (Wildlife Protection Foundation) and the Directorate General for Basic Education of the Ministry of National Education, we provided training to 10,000 children in 10 provinces in the last academic year. 

Our bank and group companies demonstrated superior performance beyond expectations. Like last year, I have full faith that 2024 will be a year in which we will grow and develop with the goal of "increasing the number of our customers in all segments and channels by offering products and services that make life easier" and take our strong place in the sector even further.

I would like to thank all our employees, customers, and business partners who contributed to this success.

Kind regards,

Ömer A. Aras
Chairperson of the Board