Turkey’s Halkbank says ‘all transactions transparent’

Turkey's Halkbank said on Thursday its foreign trade transactions and money transfers were transparent.

"No mechanism, method or system other than those in the existing regulations and those known to and followed by all other banks in foreign trade practices have been used by the bank when offering banking services," the public lender said in a statement on Turkey's Public Disclosure Platform (KAP).

Halkbank's statement came after a U.S. court began hearing a case against Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy chief executive officer of Halkbank.

Atilla and seven others are being prosecuted over their alleged participation in violating sanctions against Iran; Atilla was arrested in the U.S. earlier this year on similar sanctions violations charges. Only Atilla has appeared in court, with the others being tried in absentia.

Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf, who was arrested over his involvement when he visited the U.S. in March last year, is giving evidence for the prosecution.

The bank said reports of some media organizations were misleading the public, customers and investors by associating the bank negatively and unfairly regarding the case, creating a misperception that the bank acted contrary to the sanctions.

"Besides, it has been understood that some personal approach and interpretations based on claims made in the court are quoted, in contradiction with the principles of Article 'Protection of Reputation' of the Banking Law, in a manner which is incorrect, biased, deficient, disconnected to the contextual unity, inconsistent and paving the way for perceptual disorder that harms our banks' confidence and reputation," it said.

Halkbank has always committed strictly to national and international regulations in all its business and transactions, the bank underlined.

It added the bank also takes all measures to protect the rights of its stakeholders, business partners and depositors.

All business and transactions are supervised by national and international independent auditing firms regularly, it said.

"No contradiction to international banking regulations and rules have been detected in our banking services, including foreign trade transactions, in the audits referring to related period of time," it said.

Halkbank emphasized the bank has not been a part to any uncertain and illegal transaction linked to any country, and it has not carried out any uncertain and unlawful transfer transaction.

"There is no systematic and conscious violation of transactions subject to sanctions in order to surpass the sanction as it is alleged and it has not been intermediated in the export of prohibited parties and goods," it said.

Halkbank continues its operations in accordance with national and international regulations in a strong, reliable and uninterrupted manner as it did in the past, the bank added.

Source: Anadolu Agency