Turk Akbank calls for bigger rate cuts

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s largest listed bank Akbank called yesterday for bigger interest rate cuts, adding to growing pressure on the independent central bank. Akbank Chairman Erol Sabanci said in a statement that small rate cuts had little effect, adding his voice to industrialists and ministers who have said rates should be lower. «The effect of a 25-50 basis point cut is small. Cutting by inches is not enough. We must be braver and must act according to the needs of the economic environment in which we find ourselves,» Sabanci said. The independent central bank cut key rates by 25 basis points last month, taking the borrowing rate to 17.25 percent and the lending rate to 22.25 percent. But that did not satisfy industry and exporter groups, who called for more. High rates are also keeping the lira strong, hurting the competitiveness of exports.