The Regulation on Procedures and Principles regarding the Fees Collected from Financial Consumers was published in the Official Gazette dated 3 October 2014 and came into effect as of such date.  The Regulation sets forth the principles for all types of fees, commissions and expenditures collected from financial consumers (other than interest and dividend payments) regarding the services or goods provided by the entities such as banks, consumer credit institutions and institutions issuing cards.  By means of the Regulation, definition of the term of financial consumers is the real person or legal entity, acting for reasons other than commercial or professional reasons, who are provided services or goods by the aforementioned entities.

The Regulation details (i) the principles and procedures to be followed in the text and execution of the agreements to be executed between the aforementioned entities and the financial consumers; (ii) classification of the services and goods which can be charged to the financial consumers; (iii) obligation of the institutions for providing required information regarding the fees to the financial consumers and (iv) all banking transactions for which charges may be demanded.  The Regulation also requires the institutions to offer a credit card for the financial consumers free of annual fee and entitles the institutions to void credit cards which are not being used for a period of 180 days.

Details regarding interests, dividend payments, fees and other commissions are announced in the websites of the aforementioned entities in an explicit, understandable and easily-accessible way.

The aforementioned entities are prohibited to charge any fees to the financial consumers over the transactions without the prior approval of the financial consumers. Furthermore, the institutions are prohibited from demanding fees in any name whatsoever, other than arrangement fee.

The Regulation sets forth that no annual fees may be charged to bank cards and virtual cards.

With respect to the agreements conducted before the effective date, the Regulation will be applicable only for the transactions to be realized after the effective date under such agreement.

The Turkish language text of the Regulation can be found at the following link:

http://www.resmigazete.gov.tr/eskiler/2014/10/20141003-8.htm