Akbank was founded as a privately-owned commercial bank in Adana on January 30, 1948. Established originally with the core objective of providing funding to local cotton growers, the bank opened its first branch in the Sirkeci district of Istanbul on July 14, 1950. In 1954, after relocating its Head Office to Istanbul, the Bank rapidly expanded its branch network and had automated all banking operations by 1963.
Offered to the public in 1990, Akbank shares began trading in international markets and as an American Depository Receipt (ADR) after its second public offering in 1998.
Akbank's core business is banking activities, consisting of corporate and investment banking, commercial banking, SME banking, consumer banking, payment systems, treasury transactions and private banking, and international banking services. In addition to traditional banking activities, the bank also carries out insurance agency operations through its branches on behalf of Ak Insurance and AvivaSA Pensions and Life Insurance.
With a strong and extensive domestic distribution network of 800 branches and more than 14 thousand employees, Akbank operates from its Head Office in Istanbul and 22 regional directorates across Turkey. In addition to providing services through branches, the Bank's traditional delivery channel, Akbank also serves more than 16.5 million customers through the Akbank Direkt Internet Branches, Akbank Direkt Mobile, the Call Center, 4,400 ATMs and more than 510 thousand POS terminals as well as other hightech channels.
A digital banking pioneer in Turkey, Akbank gathered all its efforts in this flourishing area under the roof of Akbank Direkt. This will allow the bank to meet the needs of its customers, provide services in the most convenient manner possible and deliver an excellent client experience. In a world with fast advances in technology and increasingly demanding customers, Akbank Direkt strives to satisfy client needs without time or physical location limitations while pioneering technological innovations in both the sector and in Turkey.
Widely known for anticipating changes in trends and customer dynamics to develop new products and channels for meeting the individual financial needs of clients, Akbank has introduced many innovations to the Turkish banking industry. In addition to launching a significant number of new services in Turkey, including the "Big Red House" mortgage loan-only branches and the iPad Banking Branch, Akbank has also broken new ground globally. The bank is the originator of such pioneering products and services as the Loan Machine and Mobile Loan innovations, which allow customers to obtain loans without having to visit a bank branch.
The recently-launched "Akbank One-Stop Corporate Investment Banking" enabled the bank to begin generating much more effective solutions for investment financing in Turkey. This platform allows Akbank corporate banking clients to receive corporate and investment banking services while easily accessing the experience and expertise of Akbank's subsidiaries, all in one step.
The Akbank Banking Center, which has the highest transaction capacity among other operations centers in Turkey, commenced its services in 2010. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, this complex is positively contributing to Akbank's productivity. In 2017, the bank broke ground on the Akbank Data and Life Center. The center is designed to host Akbank's entire technology infrastructure, monitor all operations 24/7 with cutting-edge technology, and provide uninterrupted services to our clients. Founded with a total investment of USD 250 million, Akbank Data and Life Center will become operational in 2019. The complex will include Akbank Data Center, which will constitute the core of Akbank's entire technology infrastructure, and Akbank Life Center, which will offer social and cultural activities to 3,000 Akbank employees. The Center is Akbank's largest one-off investment to date.
Akbank conducts overseas operations through its subsidiary in Germany (Akbank AG) and a branch in Malta. The Bank's other subsidiaries, Ak Investment, Ak Asset Management and Aklease, provide non-banking financial services alongside capital markets and investment services.
Equipped with state-of-the-art IT systems and experienced professionals, Akbank provides top quality services to an extensive portfolio of consumer and corporate banking customers.
Harvard University conducted a case study last year regarding Akbank's progress in digital banking. The study emphasized the fact that digital banking will play a growing part in our lives in the years ahead. Banking will transition from branches to mobile platforms in Turkey, given its young population with high levels of smart phone and internet penetration. The case study underscores the cost-related contributions of Akbank Direkt as well as the advantage of automated transactions in minimizing human errors, and how it represents the beginning of a new era in banking.
Aiming to facilitate customers' lives and deliver the best banking experience, Akbank rapidly translates global innovations into banking practices at Akbank LAB. This innovative unit reports to the Direct Banking Department, and plays a role in shaping the banking of the future. At Akbank LAB – also known as the "laboratory of future banking" – Akbank's specialized bankers closely study innovative products and services. Akbank LAB then contacts their developers and manufacturers to employ state-of-the-art technologies that meet our clients' needs in the best way.
Despite being a new entity, Akbank LAB has already undertaken numerous major projects, such as Kolay İK (Easy HR) and Paraşüt (Parachute) in its first year, and put these into service.
Akbank offers a new banking experience to its customers through simple and innovative services and continues to work with a high motivation to create more value and raise the bar in banking.
Akbank continued to win major awards in 2017, a year when many banks felt squeezed by the global economic environment. For the sixth time, Brand Finance named Akbank as "Turkey's Most Valuable Banking Brand." In addition, Akbank was named "Turkey's Best Bank" by Euromoney and Global Finance.
As one of the most committed supporters of contemporary art in Turkey, Akbank carries out arts and culture activities in various fields with the aim of making the art more widespread. Besides the banking products offered, Akbank is a visionary bank that invests in many fields such as jazz, theater and contemporary arts activities and environment protection applications such as Carbon Disclosure Project for the advancement of society.
The first Turkish bank to be a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact in 2007, Akbank shares its sustainability performance with its stakeholders via the Akbank Sustainability Report. The Bank has published this report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards every year since 2009.
With a robust capital base, consistent deposit structure, ability to raise foreign financing on favorable terms and solid asset quality, Akbank maintains its leading position in the Turkish banking sector. As of end-2017, the bank reported a net profit of TL 6 billion (about USD 1.6 billion), and total consolidated assets of TL 342 billion (about USD 91.3 billion). The bank's capital adequacy ratio according to Basel III standards is one of the highest in the sector at 15.8%.
Committed to creating sustainable value for Turkey's economy, Akbank expanded its total loan portfolio to TL 209 billion, up 17.1%. Thanks to its effective risk management policies, Akbank's NPL ratio stood at 2.1%, well below the sector average of 3.0%.
51.1% of Akbank's shares are listed on the Borsa Istanbul. The Bank's Level 1 ADRs are traded on the OTCQX in the United States. Akbank's market capitalization stood at USD 10.4 billion as of December 31, 2017.