Akbank was founded as a privatelyowned 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 Istanbul’s Sirkeci district on July 14, 1950. In 1954, after relocating its headquarters to Istanbul, the Bank rapidly expanded its branch network and automated all its banking operations by 1963.
Initially offered to the public in 1990, Akbank stock 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 conventional banking activities, the Bank also conducts 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 780 branches staffed by more than 13 thousand employees, Akbank operates from its headquarters in Istanbul and 21 regional directorates across Turkey. In addition to providing services at branch locations, its traditional delivery channel, Akbank also serves more than 17.4 million customers via the Akbank Direkt Internet Branches, Akbank Direkt Mobile, the Call Center, 4,900 ATMs and more than 580 thousand POS terminals as well as other high-tech channels.
Delivering the banking of future today with its advanced technology investments, Akbank has launched a new transformation initiative that will give a new path forward to the industry, on its 70th anniversary. With its reliable, dynamic, lean, innovative and people-oriented approach, Akbank has offered all technological advances to its customers, and implemented this new banking model at nearly 230 branch locations in 2018.
Akbank has grouped its digital banking services, which it pioneered in Turkey, under Akbank Direkt, providing solutions to clients’ financial needs and delivering service at the most convenient points with an excellent customer experience. In a world of fastadvancing technology and increasingly demanding customers, Akbank Direkt strives to satisfy client needs without time or physical location limitations while pioneering technological innovations both in the sector and in Turkey.
Akbank anticipates changes in trends and customer dynamics to develop new products and channels for meeting the individual financial needs of clients. With this approach, the Bank has introduced many innovations to Turkey’s banking industry. Akbank has taken steps today to ready itself for tomorrow’s technologies and to integrate these into the Bank’s culture. For this purpose, Akbank Innovation Center “Akbank LAB” was established in 2016. Akbank LAB develops innovative projects to meet the needs of the Bank’s various business units. In addition, it works to ensure that globally recognized financial solutions are integrated into the Bank’s business processes to achieve the goal of delivering a perfect customer experience.
In 2018, in order to offer customers high-tech solutions, Akbank launched high added value, pioneering projects for the industry. These include login to Akbank Direkt Mobile with face-recognition technology, money transfer and cell phone bill payment with Chatbot, Robotic Process Automation, and international money transfer through collaboration with Ripple and Blockchain infrastructure.
Akbank Banking Center was inaugurated in 2010. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the Center is continuously boosting Akbank’s productivity and service quality. In 2017, Akbank laid the foundations of Akbank Data and Life Center and continued its investments throughout 2018. The Center is expected to become operational in 2019. The complex comprises Akbank Data Center, which will constitute the core of Akbank’s entire technology infrastructure, and Akbank Life Center, which will offer social services to 3,000 Akbank employees. The Center is Akbank’s largest one-off investment to date.
Akbank conducts overseas business operations through its subsidiary in Germany (Akbank AG) and a branch in Malta. The Bank introduced AkÖde mobile app and prepaid card to offer practical, swift and creative solutions for the financial needs of non-Bank clients and youth with a strong systems infrastructure. Non-banking financial services, capital markets and investment services are undertaken by the Bank’s affiliates Ak Investment, Ak Asset Management and Aklease.
Akbank continued to win major awards in 2018, a year when many banks felt squeezed by the global economic environment. In an important achievement for the Turkish banking sector, Akbank won “Turkey’s Best Bank” award from Euromoney, Global Finance.
In addition to these accomplishments, for the seventh time in a row, the international brand rating firm Brand Finance named Akbank “Turkey’s Most Valuable Banking Brand” in 2018.
As one of the most committed supporters of contemporary art in Turkey, Akbank engages in a wide variety of arts and culture activities with the aim of making art more accessible. Akbank is a visionary bank that makes social investments in many diverse areas, including jazz, theater, contemporary arts as well as environmental protection such as the 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 stakeholders via the Akbank Sustainability Report. The Bank has published this report in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards every year since 2009.
Committed to creating sustainable value for Turkey’s economy, Akbank expanded its total loan portfolio in 2018 to TL 267 billion, of which TL 214 billion is cash loans. This reporting year, the support provided to the real sector through SME loans and corporate loans amounted to TL 226 billion. In 2018, a year marked by global and national market volatility, Akbank prioritized protecting its asset quality. The Bank expended efforts to calculate and report risk in the most healthy manner with efficient and prudent risk management. During the year, Akbank kept close watch on financial and economic developments in our country and across world markets. In addition, the Bank improved existing practices by closely monitoring developments in risk management, such as TFRS 9 standard, Basel principles and other international regulations.
During a period when worldwide concerns toward emerging markets, including Turkey, are on the rise, Akbank successfully rolled over its highly popular and keenly-awaited syndication loan by 104%, thus securing USD 980 million in fresh funds for the Turkish economy. Along with other transactions throughout the year, thanks to its robust financials and solid reputation, Akbank secured total external resources worth USD 4.8 billion for the national economy in 2018.
With its capital increase decision in December 2018, Akbank further bolstered its already strong financial structure, created additional capacity for growth in the coming periods, and sharpened its competitive edge in the market. This crucial step was an important confirmation of Akbank shareholders’ trust in our country and economy. As a result of this transaction, Turkey saw foreign direct investment inflow of USD 210 million at the beginning of 2019. In the face of global uncertainties, the Bank’s capital adequacy ratio, which was already very high, has risen by about 80 basis points. Additional capacity has also been created for growth in the coming year.
Some 51.1% of Akbank’s shares are listed on Borsa Istanbul. Overseas, the Bank’s Level 1 ADR depository receipts are traded on the US OTC market. Akbank’s market capitalization stood at USD 5.2 billion as of December 31, 2018.