For the purposes of supplying tradesmen and artisans on favorable terms in order to promote economic development, it had been decided to establish Halkbank. Halkbank was founded under Statute 2284 in 1933 as a credit union by small cooperatives and began its operations in 1938. Between the years 1938-1950 Halkbank provided its loans through public funds named as “People’s Fund”. Halkbank was authorized to directly open branches and grant loans to customers in 1950. Despite having been established by local cooperatives, the structure was changed in 1963, whereupon it became a state owned bank, where original shareholders were unable to contribute capital increases.
Throughout 1990s, Halkbank’s assets grew rapidly through the absorption of certain failed smaller sized state banks, including TÖBANK, Sümerbank and Etibank. In 2001, 96 branches of Emlakbank, another state bank which was then in the process of liquidation, were transferred to Halkbank.
One of the major turning points for Halkbank is the acquisition of Pamukbank in 2004. The merger with Pamukbank significantly strengthened the Bank’s retail banking capabilities, provided it with a more technologically advanced IT system (Mistral) which was deployed throughout the Bank’s networks and created other synergies from the combination and rationalization of the branch, operations and employee bases.
After the Pamukbank merger, Halkbank underwent a serious restructuring process which was initiated by the Statute 4603 relating to public banks with the aim of preparing them for privatization. In line with this restructuring process, Halkbank’s organizational structure was completely made over and a customer-focused approach was adopted in the Bank’s activities.
Although initially the Bank had been planned to be privatized through a block sale under the resolution of the Privatization High Council in 2006, the government surprisingly cancelled the initial plan and decided to privatize 25% of the shares through an IPO in early 2007. As of 10 May 2007, 24.98% of the shares of the Bank have been sold through a very successful public offering and the shares have been listed in Istanbul Stock Exchange. Halkbank’s IPO represents the largest one that ever occurred in the Turkish capital markets.
Halkbank is now celebrating its 82th anniversary of its establishment.