Bank Asya introduces interest-free private pension plans

May 15, 2012, Tuesday/ 14:58:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Bank Asya will begin collecting interest-free funds through its newly established firm to provide private pension plans, also known as Bireysel Emeklilik Sistemi (BES), in Turkey.

Bank Asya, one of the participation banks in Turkey, will be introducing the option of private pension plans to its customers in the near future. General Manager Abdullah Çelik called the service a new development for participation banks and said, “By adding BES to our services, we have expanded our reach.”

The interest-free BES will include money circulated in participation bank accounts, gold and sukuk, also called Islamic bonds. Çelik noted that in developed countries, the volume of such funds is usually equivalent to the size of those economies, whereas it represents a paltry 2.5 percent of the domestic output in Turkey. He stated, “The plan will provide equal opportunity for individuals who are sensitive in issues concerning taking part in the otherwise interest-yielding financial system."

Stressing that Turkey is just at the beginning of private pension plan schemes compared to the rest of the world, he says the bank is looking to expand BES throughout the nation and hopes to include Turks living abroad. Bank Asya also hopes to attract non-conservative individuals into interest-free plans that provide certain tax incentives. 

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